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Despite my earlier protestations, and with much appreciated assistance, I not only planted what turned out to be an overfilled garden, I har...

September 22, 2013

First day of fall 2013.... Save me from myself!

I recently responded to a post on Facebook about how I felt about the first official day of Autumn. Here is a excerpt for you:

~   "Feeling stir crazy! So much to do... Help me understand, why do I love tomatoes so much? Do I really need to let the volunteer ground cherries continue on this way? Is this Swiss chard too large for a salad? Why is the basil acting so crazy? What's up with this asparagus bed? Will the Jerusalem melons make it through another cold spell? Okra? Why did I plant Okra again? Will I remember to shade the cilantro again next year like I did this year? ..... I could go on and on some more but I won't. Feel free to chime in and remind me to be thankful and/or schedule a time to save me from my self imposed garden madness."   ~

Whether you refer to this time of year as Fall or Autumn, for me it is a symbol of the hardest work I have to do all year. I have tons of ideas on food preservation and putting food by for the seemingly perpetual winter that will be here before we can bat an eye. My strategy this year has been to do small batches of things instead of a marathon of activities over 2 or 3 weekends. I fear my strategy though was not implemented as well as it could have been. My scheduling has been off big time for various reasons, parenting, volunteering, summer classes/activities, start of school, State Fair, technology issues, mental fog, yada yada yada yada yada....

Life takes over and before you know it, I'm walking through the garden silently damning every green thing I see that still needs to be harvested, canned, dehydrated, blanched, or frozen. So what do I do to escape the green madness? I take a much needed, appreciated, and over due trip to Glam Doll Donuts. I've been hearing about this place through the foodie grapevine. I've been seeing pictures of concoctions too crazy to be ignored. So, a couple of nights ago I said "to heck with all this kale, all the beans, the onions, and Brussels sprouts!". "I'm going to have donuts!". First off, you can't help but smile at a place like this the décor is uber pink retro which I have to say 'I Love!'. The staff is amazingly nice, patient, and helpful when trying to decide what numminess to indulge in first. I learned from an unsuspecting 'regular', that everything tends to sell out quick here. I say unsuspecting because if you visit this place you will return... SOONER than later... I'm just saying I'm already contemplating my return trip. I highly recommend the 'Chart Topper'. You'll have to check out their website or visit to find out the deets on this amazing pastry. The last thing I'll say on this adventure is, there is nothing like a hot steamy Earl Grey with anything Sweet yet warmed up with Sriracha and a creamy peanut butter glaze....

Nuff said, garden woes go away!

Fast forward to the present, and I'm deep in thought about my oneness in thought and action with a lot of folks these days.  I am very passionate about growing my own and knowing where my food comes from. I even love getting engrossed in the process; but the reality is I have bad days. Even now I'm replaying a trip to gather peppers, chard, and zucchini for tonight's dinner [an hour ago] and feeling both in awe and kind of over it all. I still have a smile on my face though and have to shake my head at my silent tantrum. As I previously stated, this is all self imposed and as I write I am reminded of my "goal" to scale things back this year. I had plans to do weekly deliveries of excess veg to the food shelves I'm working with this year through the Plant-A-Row program. I remember feeling of elation at doing my part. However, no one could have predicted everything coming ripe at once due to a very late thaw and super wet spring. I'm still working on asking for help and delegating tasks. It's not easy to turn over 'your baby' to someone else. Even if it's to grab armfuls of greens without crushing volunteers who are producing heavily while still having overstayed their welcome.

Now that I've ranted I will stop my pity party and start making a list of things to do this week.
  1. Save Tomato Seeds completed
  2. Save Jerusalem melon seeds completed
  3. Dehydrate tomatoes and okra In the process
  4. Make the time to get food over to the two food banks
  5. Only harvest and preserve what I know my family will use
  6. Make sure nothing goes to waste.
  7. Don't forget to follow this list!
  8. Get pictures and stories of all the wonderful activities from the growing season up on this blog. In the process
Time to get Busier!

Happy Harvest

Tina