Thursday, February 19, 2009

A return, a re-awakening and a re-vamping

I recently searched through my old emails and found an unopened email from EG over at Our Engineered Garden asking if my family and I are okay. Besides the guilt of somehow missing this email when it came in, it dawned on me that I never posted a "we're taking time away from the blog" message. So consider this an after-the-fact one.

I knew the blog would slow down in January, but I didn't imagine it would come to a complete halt. I have two little boys who both have January birthdays so I knew we'd dedicate the month to them and their parties. And then we had the Big Freeze. Florida had colder weather than I can ever remember. Everything froze. The cars froze. The grass froze. And yes, my beloved garden froze.

When I told my mom that every single thing in the garden had frozen and died, except for our leeks she said "you didn't cover everything with sheets?" She has a good point. That is what responsible Floridians do - they go out every night and cover every dainty tropical plant with a sheet and then uncover it during the day so it doesn't overheat. It turns out that a) I'm not that responsible and b) I'm too thin-skinned to go outside in the cold at sunset with an armful of sheets to start dressing up my garden like a white-trash toga party and c) Using all the sheets in the garden means more laundry and I can barely keep up with what we've got.

So it all froze. Solid. Dead. Brown. Horrible…save the leeks, of course.

Not that things were great before the freeze. I missed the boat on the one successful broccoli plant and it went to seed. I used a lot of the lettuce and then forgot about it and it went to seed. I never found a way to successfully peel all the peanuts and never made peanut butter. I grew one nice looking green bell pepper, then put it in the fridge and forgot about it until I found it withered and forlorn in the back corner of the produce drawer. I just plain did not do well.

Now I'm supposed to be replanting and fertilizing, but I'm feeling a bit uninspired. I knew I'd never be an expert gardener, but I never anticipated it would be this hard and this much work. Our poor little garden survived so much in its first few months from microbursts to flooding to hurricanes and insects and the freeze just took me over the edge.

So I will pull up all the brown corpses littering the garden. I will replant. I will hoe the damn thing and get it looking pretty again. But I think I'm going to take a different approach this time. I'm going to plant more of one thing and less variety. If you plant two squash plants and they all die, that just plain sucks. If you plant 20 and one lives, well then maybe you can say you're a success. I just need that kick in the rear to get cracking with it all again.

And I'm revamping the blog. With two boys and two home businesses and trying to keep my life organized (which it's not at all right now) I find I have to let some things slide. The cars aren't washed, the dog desperately needs a bath because he smells like a goat, the laundry is in stacks upon stacks in baskets around the house and the blog has been left cold and alone in cyberspace. So I plan on picking it back up again, but I can't focus solely on the thing I'm worst at - gardening. I need to have some days where I focus on the things I am pretty good at and don't fail at on a daily basis - maybe parenting, photography and the like. So I guess I'm expanding my blog horizons and no longer limiting myself to my failed pursuit of gardening.

Not that this big announcement matters. I have about 5 readers, 4 of whom are family, so I didn't have the pressure to continue like I would if I actually had any readers hanging on my every word. So all 5 of you out there, I will be back. I will post again. I will replant. I'm just waiting for that kick in the rear to get going again.

And EG - thanks for caring!


Anonymous said...

Best make that 6 readers; I'm afraid I'm a lurker and rarely comment but read a lot of blogs :-(

Michelle in Scotland

engineeredgarden said...

You're very welcome, Kate.

Sue said...

Well, now you have another one! I love your writing. Your pics are fun, like your writing style. I have problems keeping up with all the blogs I follow, but plan to be back here when I can.

I want to encourage you to continue the gardening with your guys. The process of gardening can be as rewarding as the results. I know I've let things spoil in the fridge, too, but we do eat enough to be happy to grow things. I also have crop failures at times. Gardening is an adventure, and even though most of us write about our successes, I imagine no one's garden is ever perfect.

Hang in there!

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