Friday, December 5, 2014

And Then We Were Done

As I have said before, Montana springs/summers come on like rollercoasters. Dan, the kids, and I went at a run from May through September, tending seed starts, tilling soil, setting out plants, moving hoses, and weeding, weeding, weeding. Did I mention weeding? As the plants matured and began to produce in earnest, our days became a blur. And then, as fast as it all started, it was done. Well, almost. 

A sudden week of hard freezes pretty much put an end to most of the gardens in late September. In the course of two days, Dan and the kids had harvested all of the pumpkins and winter squash, and the once lush, green gardens were plowed under, becoming once again blank palettes of dark earth.

I must admit, the suddenness of the change was a bit breathtaking. Yet, at the same time, it was a relief. The school year was already in full swing, and my roster of writing students was pushing 70. My own children needed my assistance most of the day as they engaged with their studies. I was more than ready for a break from gardening. 

With the soil turned, rich and black, filled with fresh organic material to break down over the winter months, our attention could more fully focus on the next phase: putting up the harvest.