I managed to take a day all to myself (weeellllllll ....) and I tilled under the garden. I need to start naming these Gardens. This will be The Front Garden. The next one (not yet pick-axed or tilled, or worked, or indeed, cleared) shall be the ... Back Garden. And then there shall be the Hill Garden. So the Front Garden is now --with the exception of the incredibly prolific Sun Gold Tomatoes, which are STILL PRODUCING!!-- planted with a cover crop mix which includes Austrian Field Peas, Crimson Clover, Annual Rye, Vetch, and Buckwheat.
There is sadness in this tilling-under. It indicates an ending. An end to the lush fecundity of Spring. An end to the fruitfulness of Summer, an end to the Harvest of Autumn. And yet, and yet.. There is a Beginning to this tilling-under as well. These spent flowers and fruits and leaves and vines, this compost which has been "cooking" since last year, these pounds of annual, briefly lived cover crops... They are nurturing next year's Bounty. They are fertilizing my Opportunity to feed.
Part of this sadness of course is a direct relationship to the Juggernaut of Holy Daze incoming upon us. I am without Family here, except for the Family which I have created for myself. But they have Families of their own. So I will probably embrace the oncoming Holidays in solitude. This is not a Bad Thing. But there is sadness in it.
I have drawn out a map of the Gardens of 2009. What I wish to plant, and where. Which veggies worked well for me, which need to be rotated out to a new area. I am hoping to begin the Back Garden's pick-axing this month. I might have to forego the Three Sisters plot I so wanted to get in this year. Last year, I crowded them up too much (last year being the first year I tried this method) and it was nigh impossible to harvest everything. I need more space. I HAVE more space, I just need to pick ax a significant area, then cover it with the newspapers I have been saving for months. Then come Spring, I'll need to till it, and add a Unit of Mushroom Compost (OR Garden Blend! a bit more expensive, but it would increase drainage incredibly) If I skip the corn, I can plant my tomatoes there along with their companion plants, Cabbage, Carrots, Onion, Mint, Borage, marigolds, nasturtiums.... (I realize that corn & tomatoes are not normally planted close to one another, but if I plant Companions which repel the pests they are both prone to, there should be no problem in sharing space..)
So, to fight back the sadness which inevitably creeps into the garden of my Heart at this time of year, I will dream of the NEW Garden. I will plant the seeds of Joy and Peace and try to create an environment in which they shall thrive.