Oh, where did the summer go? Intellectually I know, but somehow I’m flabbergasted that the garden is wrapping up, the days growing shorter, but my season’s to-do list is just as long as it was in June!

The garden was amazing (except for a little tomato problem). After years of floundering, we’ve hit on a winning strategy. The raised beds performed–producing bumper crops of lemon cucumbers, potatoes, and squash (winter and summer). The beets and carrots, yet to be harvested, are also looking bountiful. We managed three full rotations of salad fixings and greens–several kinds of lettuce, radishes, bok choi, and chard–without the usual waste and bolting, mid-season. The green beans were a bust–but not because they weren’t plentiful. We tried a new variety this year, pole beans, (which required constructing a whole trellis affair, and, after all that, they have no flavor–they’re absolutely tasteless. So the success of the green bean harvest is heading straight for the composter! Next year it’s back to bush beans.

All season, I kept admonishing myself to pull out a camera to report and blog the effort, but my heart wasn’t in it.

Mostly, the summer was consumed by larger issues. My Mum spent the summer with us, a welcome event, except that it was inspired by our proximity to quality healthcare facilities–Mum in need of treatments for cancer. The process was painful to watch, as it always is when one’s loved ones suffer. It makes you feel helpless. A chunk of every day was the to and fro of treatment, dealing with side-effects and shielding personal autonomy and dignity, and the hand-wringing that goes with worry. The prognosis is good–so the result of that part of the summer’s effort will yield years of loving harvests. Still, the season has been a blur, with little of our regular kind of productivity to show for it.

Usually, when one of us is preoccupied, the other can pick up the slack. But Rick has had his own family traumas this summer. There is no treatment plan for the kind of interpersonal toll taken by long-distance family anguish, especially when it’s being served up with a side dish of betrayal. Leaning together we feel like we’ve barely survived the summer, even as we wonder where it went!

And the tomatoes! We cannot yet report on them, because though they appear to be thriving, they are not getting ripe. There they are, big, lush, lovely… and green. Even the cherry tomatoes are tardy. What’s up with that? I suspect it’s related to the high-altitude, Western smoke that’s colored the summer’s light, and sometimes left us in a shadowless haze. Will they ripen before there’s frost? Will they be outliers–to be harvested only after the rest of the salad fixings have come and long gone? I suspect I’ll be canning in October!

These distractions are not yet over–but there are ends in sight. In the meantime, winter is coming. There’s wood to split and stack, orchard trees to check and bees to tend. 

Somehow, I’ll get back in the groove of blogging…I always do.