Days are getting shorter; darkness falls earlier each day. The Harvest will soon be ready to bring in from the garden...to be made into chutneys and butters and pickles and jams, all arrayed in jewel-toned jars along a towel lined counter.
For people that managed to grow food in their gardens, at any rate. If I wanted to prepare the Harvest I have been able to reap this year, it would be a sorry sight...there might be a few jars of Tomatoes, a few frozen bags of Raspberries and a very small pile of Squash.
I had great intentions of supplementing our Winter diet with homegrown vegetables and fruit; it didn't quite work out that way. I planted sufficient tomatoes to have enough to can a few jars, but there are only a few. I will have to buy a flat or two from the Farmer's Market to can; we will enjoy our homegrown ones fresh.
Somehow, I managed to pick up a Zucchini that is a miniature. I didn't even know there was such a thing. The Zucchini I'm accustomed to grow into baseball bats. The ones I have are tiny...with huge blossoms and very small leaves. They look very gourmet; I miss my bats, however. There is something about those very large green boats...they make enough shredded Zucchini for a hundred spicy loaves, should I be so inclined.
Our Raspberries outdid themselves...so many beauteous red globelets hanging, shimmering, in Sun's warm rays. That was one harvest where I did manage to bag a bushel to keep frozen.
This year, different plants...plants other than the usual garden varieties... produced well. The aforementioned Raspberries, the Tay berries and the Blackberries all produced bumper crops. There are many Rose Hips and Herbs are prolific, becoming huge shrubs. I have enough Lavender for many different applications...I use it in potpourris and teas and mix it with other Herbs as seasoning in roast Lamb.
And our struggling Apple Tree gave us twelve lovely, crunchy fruit, perfect in every way.
And the Sunflowers! Splendiferous, large blossoms calling to Sun, beckoning and shouting out their happiness at being alive, these plants took over my garden this year. It will be a land of plenty for the Birds that pass through on their way South...I will be hard-pressed to gather a bag or two for the house.
I have trouble taking these seeds away from the Birds.
And if the garden didn't quite live up to my hopes for it...
Then perhaps it lived up to Creator's.
Perhaps my garden, this year, was meant to feed the wildlife, in what I feel will be a difficult Winter. I leave the Seed Heads on the blossoms of all the plants...in this way, those Seeds become fodder for Birds that have been scarce in my garden lately.
There is nothing like a flock of Birds descending on a Shrub or Vine...the whole plant shaking, looking for all the world as if it is drowning in mirth. And the incessant trills, shrieks and just plain chatter emanating from that Shrub add to the feeling of gleeful energy. If I take away this food source, I will miss the sight...and the glee.
Yesterday, in the large Rockery, I heard a Frog. He was singing his heart out; I could feel his contentment and happiness. I followed his voice, being very careful my shadow would not give away my presence. His voice became louder, it echoed from a deep hole that has appeared amongst the Rocks.
I crept closer, almost right on top of the hole...and then the voice stilled. I backed off a bit...the voice resumed, becoming louder.
The voice became huge, ringing in my ears. I wondered at the size of the owner of that voice...surely only a monster Frog could make that loud a song!
But, suddenly, out they popped or hopped, depending on the view of things...three small green Frogs...out of one hole and into another, in beautiful unison.
I smiled and moved away, with their voices resuming their ode to life. It was one of those deeply satisfying moments in the garden.
My garden may not entirely feed me, but it seems as if the wild creatures find it a gourmet treat...a Land of Plenty.
After all, generosity in this case costs me nothing and gives me so much in return.