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Organic Harvest Score Card 2010

Friend Generous Mike's lush organic kale crop
This year our older grand- daughter started kinder- garten. After her first day in the system (an hour in a Montes- sori classroom) she announced, "Kinder- garten is fine, Lola. I made lots and lots of friends". And I watch other kids returning to school in their new duds or new post-summer identities, all looking hopeful, with their new backpacks slung over their shoulders.

All this hopefulness and optimism for the coming year reminds me of my gardening persona in about May. Any May. I have sprouted new plants, tilled and amended new garden patches, read new advice in books and online.

By mid-July (any mid-July) I have pretty much slacked off on the daily 10-minute check for weeds, the necessary watering, the pruning of roses, the pinching off of bolted Cilantro, etc. We travel here and there doing fun summer things. I spend a lot of time on the Internet doing fun writing projects (or just maintaining my surfeit of blogs). It's too hot--too cold--too dry--too wet-- too smoky, etc. to go out and spend time gardening.

By late August (any late August) I begin to pull in the late 'crops' of organic veggies: a mis-shapen cucumber, an apron-full of tomatoes of various sizes and shapes, herbs as they attract me. I also get anxious about gathering seeds for next year.

It's all pretty pathetic, I confess. And especially when we are invited over to the local seaside hobbyfarmer friend's place to help ourselves to some of his abundance (beets, basil, kale). He explains that the soil in his gardens has been amended every year for over 40 years (by his father-in-law before him, and now, him)with seaweed and compost. We lug home heavy bags of his proffered produce. I do stuff with it: make pesto, dehydrate beets and kale (as chips). I feel sad about our non-abundance.

So, I've decided to try a couple of different methods of amending the soil over the winter. I will dig troughs in the garden major and bury bokashi. I will have a worm colony going in my sideroom off the kitchen. I am excited and hopeful. It is another season of hope and inspiration, much like the start of the schoolyear!

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