Tag Archives: relaxing

What will you do when you’re retired?

21 May
Evening in the veggie garden
Evening in the veggie garden

This is the most asked question these days.  A close second is “how many days left?”  For the record, the number is 6 after today.  One of my answers to this question is “putter around in the garden.”  Last night I finished planting my veggie garden for this season.  There are 8 kinds of tomatoes, 5 of which are heirloom varieties, onions, shallots, 3 kinds of peppers, 2 kinds of beans, 3 kinds of squash, corn, cucumbers, carrots, tomatillos, potatoes, peas, dill, garlic, cilantro, basil, lettuce, arugula, spinach, radishes, rhubarb, asparagus, and strawberries. (whew!)

Potatoes are planted with beans, each keeps a bug off the other, carrots planted with tomatoes, they help each other grow.  Tomatoes are kept away from potatoes–they hate each other and don’t grow well together.  Squash are in their own bed in anticipation of this summer’s epic squash bug war.  As the tomatoes start setting, I’ll tie bird tape to the tomato ladders, hopefully discouraging the birds from sampling my tomatoes (MY tomatoes) before I get a chance. 

I took this picture last night after I’d finished planting and turned the water on.  It was about 7:30.  Birds were singing, the roosters next door were crowing, there was a light breeze whispering through the pussy willow.  The sun was still illuminating the Mesa in the distance, and dancing around in the top of the cottonwood.  Just being in the garden made my shoulders relax and placed a contented smile on my face….ahhhhh.  My garden is such a wonderful place. 

You probably noticed the tall fence around the garden; it’s not because of deer, but to keep out bunnies.  A bit of overkill, but the chainlink was free, so a tall fence it is!  Bunnies are cute and all, but can be voracious–decimating entire sections of a garden overnight!  The beds are all raised, filled with quality soil we brought in and amend yearly.  The native soil of this place is way too alkaline for growing much of anything.  It seems like commando gardening here sometimes–a lot of hard work and effort is needed to harvest enough food for dinner, let alone canning for the winter.

But, in spite of the bunniesbugsalkalibirdswindheat, I LOVE to garden.  I love going out in the morning to see what will be in my omelet.  I love gathering fresh basil and tomatoes for a caprese salad, I love making salsas and tomato sauce that let me taste summer all winter long.  I love how stress is left at the garden gate.  I’m looking forward to enjoying my garden well into the fall when I’d normally be back at school.  Ahhhhhhhhh.