I am, on the whole, happy with my garden endeavours. I’ve had set-backs that every gardener experiences — seed packets that are out and out duds, battles with insects, the constant battle to improve the soil, etc. I’ve also had set-backs that most home gardeners don’t experience, ranging from starting in soil and with rainfall that can only sparsely support weeds to having the (not by me) hired landscapers repeatedly kill off up to 80% of the thriving veggies and flowers I’d so painstakingly (and sometimes at great expense) gotten growing, to the rogue 2 neighbours (out of 9 other appreciative and immediate neighbours, and not counting the senile Holocaust survivor who sometimes supports and sometimes sabotages) that regularly and deliberately sabotage everything from the compost pits to the most productive plants I’ve got growing.
Yet, I have been able to supplement my own diet substantially, that of some of my immediate neighbours (the 9 of the 11 that are happy and appreciative, plus the old guy), and the diets of three additional Holocaust survivors in my immediate area who are living literally hand to mouth. I’ve provided great interest and entertainment to other neighbours in surrounding buildings whom eschew offers of produce but enjoy watching the evolution of the garden.
Still, at the moment, I am experiencing high garden frustration. Between the injury I experienced and work, I’ve not been able to do right by the garden in the last few weeks. The neglect is telling. Things haven’t gotten enough water that were in flowering and/or fruiting stages and that is going to mean less of a harvest from them. Things didn’t (and some still haven’t) gotten transplanted out when they should have been. Seeds didn’t get planted when they should have. This is already resulting in a late fall/winter crop of items that are woefully out of sync with one another. Think about your most basic American or European salad — lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers, green onions — well I’ve got five or six cherry tomatoes per day and some green onions but no lettuce ready to harvest and water-deprived (thus small and wizened) sweet peppers. I’ve got a couple of malformed (because of inadequate water) cucumbers that will be ready next week. None of the solely winter veggies are on schedule and the plant-now-for-spring things are already out of sync. It is going to be another week before I can do any serious work in the garden and probably two if I don’t want to risk re-injury, putting the garden further out of whack.
The one good bit of news is that when I brought Little Mouse (Akbar Kitan) to the vet for his shot this morning it was not only 5 weeks (rather than 3 or 4) since he had his last shot but that he really has gained a good bit of weight. The vet noted that he is a much smaller than average cat but it would be optimal if he could gain the equivalent of another pound –however, compared to the spring when every vertebrae stood out in bas relief and his abdomen was seriously concave, he is making great strides. Go Mousie!