Sage Advice


It hailed today and luckily the tomatoes that I planted out were covered by the hoophouse I built around them. I learned my lesson last year, and in years before: never trust nature to do what you want it to do. I know that I will learn this lesson many times to come, but the lesson never comes easy.

The hops were troopers; I believe that they are the marines of the plant world: nothing phases them. The rhubarb was sheltered by the large bank of bushes, and most of the seeds planted out last week have not come up. I hop the newly peeking asparagus shoots are OK.

The bees finally had a time of it on their cleansing flights after so much grey rainy weather that we’ve been having; that is, before the hail set in. I had put out a swarm capture box as I was having an inkling that there was a swarm around that had been trying to get into one of the hives. They had had no luck, and so I put the box out, wondering if they’d be interested. I think they were, but it’s too early to tell.

Lots of hard work in the garden these days for all of us. It’s not nature that is a taskmaster as she simply doesn’t care. It is the hopes and dreams of canning tomatoes, making salsa and rhubarb jam, freezing kale, brewing beer, making apple sauce, putting up pickles and beets, juicing plums and crabapples, picking fresh carrots and digging up potatoes. It is pesto with your own basil and tea with your own honey. It is all of these things and more.

This time of year is both hopeful and hellish; everything seems so fragile and yet so much is riding on it. This time of year is the start of catching up. Farmers and gardeners alike play “catch-up” from now on out. The weeds will come, wasps will attack the bees and plants will die. It’s all out there in the mysterious future as are the hopes and dreams of those who try to understand the soil and the plants that come out of it.

As I said it hailed tonight and probably took out a lot of folk’s work. I can almost hear the profanity even if we did need the moisture. There is more where that came from. We all know it. Buddha supposedly said, of nirvana: figure it out yourself. I think that such advice is sage (good in sausage and olive oil for dipping bread). And so, I hope that we all figure it out. But for now, I’m off on an adventure of my own, and wish you all the best that your hard work will offer on yours.


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