It has been a hot, miserable Summer. We found ourselves frustrated and anxious trying to meet the goals we had set for ourselves in the Spring. Last year the weather was kind. We enjoyed the picking and the work that followed. The peaches we picked last summer in early August were ripe this summer in early June. We missed the season. At home, our garden was struggling and so were we.
On a hot Monday night in a field of blueberries, covered in sweat, we had an epiphany. We looked at each other and realized we had to rethink our goals. There were no peaches to pick. The thought of picking tomatoes in 98 degree weather and coming home to make 12 quarts of tomato sauce was overwhelming. We needed something to change. We needed balance.
The Queen of Field Trips just happened to look in the paper at the right moment and found our solution: The Produce Auction. It was time for a road trip. Upon our arrival, we swear the clouds parted, the angels were singing and we were saved. Even the weather was kind to us that night. So this Wednesday night, armed with our Auction number, we will bid on those tomatoes we were so reluctant to pick and we will make our 16 quarts of tomato sauce and pickled pear tomatoes. Happiness returns to the empty nest.
The epiphany in the blueberry field and the discovery of the auction made us remember a principle of life we had tried to teach our children: balance. Thinking about balance led us to the following thoughts:
1. Next year’s garden: We will stick to the plants that thrived and pick only one that piques our curiosity. We will plant some plants closer together to decrease the weeding and increase yield. We will learn more about the pests that invaded our garden and ate more produce than we did.
2. Writing the blog and taking the field trips has given us a lot of pleasure. We have become better cooks, more educated consumers and have attempted projects we would never have even thought of, such as canning. We approached this summer thinking it would be the same as last summer. When it wasn’t, we kept trying to figure out a way to meet the goals we set. That night in the blueberry field, we realized it was the goals we had to change. Not meeting the goals is not the failure, not having the goals is the failure. Once we found the balance, in this case – the auction, our enthusiasm returned.
So in keeping with our new found resolve to enjoy the projects we undertake, we’re not cooking today. Next week, though, we’ll have some canning recipes to share.