It is a time of fear in the face of freedom, a time of an emptying country and swelling cities, a time for the widening of previous roads and the opening of new paths, yet a time when these paths are mined by knowing algorithms of the all-seeing eye. It is the time of the warrior's peace and the miser's charity, when the planting of a seed is an act of conscientious objection. These are the times when maps fade, old landmarks crumble and direction is lost. Forwards is backwards now, so we glance sideways at the strange lands through which we are all passing, knowing for certain only that our destination has disappeared. We are unready to meet these times, but we proceed nonetheless, adapting as we wander, reshaping the Earth with every tread. Behind us we have left the old times, the standard times, the high times. Welcome to the irregular times.
One of my favorite ways to watch the seasons turn is to put the family’s jack o’lanterns at the edge of the woods right off the side of the house. Every few days as we walk to the bus stop or over to the grocer’s, we take a glance and see how the pumpkin [...]
A full week into October here in mid-Maine, and still I’m harvesting a bounty from good earth. A few peppers that are supposed to be hot came out sweet in the chill, but hundred of sweet peapods are a special delight, since these cost me nothing but the light work in August of shelling [...]
At the same time that an unusually long growing season is bringing me a second, smaller batch of flowering onions, consistent rains have stimulated other fruiting bodies in my garden as well.
Puffballs, fly agaric mushrooms and this rather extravagant orange fungus have emerged from the ground.
What growths are taking place where you live?
My August plan to chance a second batch of snap peas has borne fruit:
Even though the plants are shorter than their summertime parents, they’ve got some delicious pods.
And what does a hot pepper taste like if it’s grown when the frosts are nearly here? I’m about to find out:
Meanwhile, garlic [...]
When I moved up to Maine 3 years ago, the place I moved into had a deck of pressure-treated wood shoved into a south-and-east facing corner. It wasn’t connected to the steps, so you had to walk to it. It didn’t face the street, so it wasn’t made for socializing. It got splintery and rickety.
While the presence of September chive blossoms themselves isn’t unpleasant, their reminder of the significant shift in climate we’re seeing is unnerving, and brings to mind questions of what kind of winter we’ll have this year. Unpredictability grows into insecurity, in the garden. [...]
I hear the sound of acorns falling. I feel acorns underfoot beneath the oak tree. The blueberries and blackberries are gone. The second round of snap peas has sprouted. The lily stalks look like they could be part of a basket. The trees swarmed by Japanese beetles are brown.
How do you know autumn is [...]
Dad: Why did you take so long coming up the hill?
Son: Oh, I was just looking at those pink plants by the road.
Dad: Did you like the flowers?
Son: They were OK, but I really like the seed pods. Do you know what they do?
Dad: Yes; just be sure not to bring [...]
In the automobile industry, the end of a calendar summer is the beginning of the next model year. So it goes with vegetables, but in carbon-neutral fashion.
Garden fashion magazines depict the cultivation of flowers and food as a thoroughly bright, clean, color-saturated experience. But this yesterday I find myself at a desaturated end, [...]
Gardening is more difficult, and more rewarding, and more complex, than what’s shown in Better Homes and Gardens. The magazine I’d like to see instead might be entitled Actual Homes and Gardens. [...]
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