I love walking into my pantry in the middle of winter and seeing all the pretty rows of jars full of food. Have loved it since I started canning. I love knowing that when I go to the grocery store in the middle of winter I can say to myself, "hmm? I don't need that, I already have it on my shelf!" But I can't see all those pretty rows of jars full of things or say these things to myself while at the store if I don't actually have them! This of course requires work.
Putting up food is not hard, it's just time consuming and requires a bit of forethought and preparation but once you get into the swing of it and get a good rhythm going things seem to just roll along and before you know it you are pulling those jars out of the water and listening for that oh so satisfying pop as the seal actually seals itself to the top of the jar. It's at that point you know that all your work was worth it!
(Puts a smile on my face just thinking about it)
Gardening this year was a bust, I started too late, had soil that wasn't the greatest, squirrels that would not leave my growing veggies alone and aphids that ate my poor green beans like they were at a Sunday buffet.
I think part of my problem is I recently come from a growing season of 4 months and have moved into a growing season of 8 months. I am thinking 8 MONTHS? This has to be the easiest thing out there! Oh, 8 months may seem like an easy season but it has it's challenges, just like the 4 month season, just different problems all together.
For example, here I don't need a sheet to keep the light frost off in the beginning and end of the season, however I do need to water what feels like constantly. The heat wears that soil out and along with it the roots of the plants. I'm thinking next year the garden will require a drip system of some sort I can put on a timer and have it go off about 3 times a day. We will see, I may have to adjust that accordingly, but what new challenge isn't without it's trials and experiments?
Another problem? I could not find dirt that was readily available to me here. I of course live on a military base where they frown upon you digging your whole back yard up to plant veggies! I don't know why, it seems perfectly logical to me, but oh well, the Rooster is very adept at making me garden beds, he's made a plethora of them for me before, he is quite handy in that area. But the dirt!! It was a problem. I could not find compost anywhere unless I wanted to pay big money for it (you would think it were gold or something down here). I finally found some at a store that said "garden soil, for fruits and vegetables" NOT GOOD FOR MY VEGGIES!!!! I got plants to grow, just no veggies. Nice big beautiful leaves, no vegetable on the bottom. I am looking into the reasoning behind this, will have to ask Grandpa, he is kind of an expert in these areas! Maybe do some research online, after-all, it is right here at my fingertips.
I do think I have found a solution to this problem for next year though. I am simply going to start composting and making my out soil. I know, I live on a military base right? I have an idea that I think just might work though. More on that later. This of course also involves the handy work of the Rooster (don't tell him I know but I really think he actually enjoys these kinds of things, even though he sometimes rolls his eyes at me and has some smart comment about it, secretly I know he enjoys it as much as I do!)
But all in all, I can't say this gardening season was all bad - it was definitely a learning season and I got zero produce, but I am looking forward to next growing season with anticipation and new things to try. I have 2 years to get this gardening things down here in Georgia. Suppose I can do it?
And for this year? All I can say is thank heavens we have a Farmer's Market!!