What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning. -T.S. Eliot
Probably one of the most surreal moments of my life: buckling my seat belt on a flight to San Diego three days ago.
I write this from a cool afternoon at the beach… A far cry from the heat, bugs, cornbread, farmers, close quarters, patty pan squash and chores of The Garden Summer.
The final weeks of the project were filled with trips to the lake, porch dinners, fishing, and visits with new friends.
[Dear friends Christian and Bridget visit the farm]
[Seth and a monstrous catfish]
[Puppies on the porch in the afternoon]
After a light week three, we expected little out of our last harvest. The deer had taken their toll and our cash crops were still recovering from the devastating mid-month rain. And then the flowers came on. We had buckets and buckets and still did not harvest all of the zinnias, cosmos, and sunflowers.
[Em in the early morning]
So although we were light on Patty Pans and cucumbers, we made up in flowers and basil. We had a great final market. Throughout the morning we said bittersweet goodbyes to new friends, hugging and exchanging phone numbers.
We even let down and ordered a hot, and possibly non-local breakfast from the market.
Our last evening we sat up on the bluff overlooking our garden in the moonlight and talked about high points and gratitude.
So long Garden Summer.
This is what we set out to do:
Grow an abundant garden:
We did this. Our squash, arugula, zinnias, radishes, cucumbers, and beets fed us and our farmers market patrons.
Live zero-waste (or pretty damn close):
We didn’t do half bad. Two weeks into the project we had only produced about five pounds of trash.
Eat food grown within a 100-mile radius:
From the beginning we decided to exclude olive oil, coffee, and alcohol from the 100-mile rule. Aside from a handful of special occasion exceptions, we didn’t use non-local ingredients in our kitchen. Every once in a while, however, we would accept a non-local hors doeuvres in the home of a friend, or patron a local bakery for the treat of fresh baked bread.
Sell at the Farmers Market and donate to local food banks:
We were successful at the farmers market. We did not donate to a food bank. We simply did not yield the quantity or quality to justify a produce donation.
Make some farmer friends and have some fun along the way:
Boy, wasn’t that the truth.
[Our summer garden]