Thursday, August 6, 2009

An Eight Foot Fence Full of Chaos

I went out to pick whatever peas the chipmunk had overlooked, and I found the way largely impassable due to huge, sprawling catnip, lemonbalm, dill and borage plants covered with flowers. The garden is in a state of total chaos, and I am perfectly happy, because it has at least 2 garter snakes and many dozens of honeybees (not ours), hoverflies and other wild pollinators. Plus John’s garden at the studio is located on bottom land so fine and deep you would think you were in the Midwest, and it is very productive, so the wilderness inside the fence up here on Rocky Top is not causing us to starve.

For example, my new favorite way to consume large quantities of summer squash (which we must do in order to be able to navigate the kitchen) is to sautee them in olive oil with an onion and some garam masala, and then make a raita of it with whole milk yogurt. Ladle that over your rice and lentil kitchree, and you can ascend directly into summertime paradise.

This spring I sacrificed one garden bed to 2 fruit trees; next spring I am thinking of converting another to strawberries, which we love, and so do the deer, so planting them outside the fence is a fool’s errand. Slowly I seem to be converting the kitchen garden to a fruit-and-perennial vegetables garden, leaving the annuals to John and my talented farmer friends. This time next year when the herbs are feeding the pollinators, I will be one bed closer to admitting that this may be the real reason I have the garden to begin with.

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