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Yard work is exercise which is a good thing. Really?

The garden was a bit overgrown by last week.

It’s true, I can look forward to losing some weight this fall while doing this garden/yard work which means I can drink more beer, right? Hmmmm, maybe all this exercise is a bad thing? I have to weigh (haha) my options: 1) I could sit like a lump in front of the tv or computer or get carpal tunnel from turning pages in books I read and grow larger like a fungus on tree bark or, 2) I can work my ass off outside keeping the same weight while supporting beer companies.  I’m pretty sure this is what my dad meant when he never said, “Son, there’s a lot to think about as you age.”

It turns out our neighbor’s chickens love our overgrown garden!

Here’s another good shot of the weeds and volunteer papaya….( I had 12  papaya growing in the garden this year, I guess from our compost-but it hasn’t ever happened before?!?!?)

That’s a sage bush in the foreground.

I clipped some sage before beginning the task of clearing the weeds from the garden. I’ve enough sage growing to keep me wise for three lifetimes. ( Would you believe for a day?)

Recently, I had some nice harvesting just before the weeds won, ….greens, rosemary, Kale and more…

 

 

It was like the weeds and my plants loved one another!

There’s no time like the right time, especially when it comes to working on gardens unless you’re asleep or napping. To be clear: nap time and midnight are absolutely the wrong times to plant a garden. You might dream you’ve planted and spend four weeks wondering why nothing has sprouted. Then, once it dawns on you that you never planted you’d be late planting and still need a nap! So planting gardens may not only support beer companies but it may be bad for one’s mental health.

Plus, growing a garden ties it’s owner to the seasons generally and the changes of weather specifically so it comes with strings—as in beans—attached. Plant too soon in Northern Florida and the seeds might get washed away, burned to a crisp or frozen solid depending upon what season you’re planting for. So gardens are like dinner in that it depends upon the season.

Right now, it’s Fall planting prep time: the weeds have taken over the spring garden and they gotta go  before the soil’s turned over. Weeds, BTW, don’t read signs. ‘GO Away,’ ‘I hate you!,’ ‘Never come back,’ signs posted in the garden don’t work at all—weeds are either impervious to being cursed at or they enjoy it, not sure.

So I got busy clearing…it’s a ritual I keep twice per year….and the hawks over head always come to call from above as worms squiggle in the dirt as I pull the weeds.. I only learned recently after twenty years of wondering that Hawks love worms.

Shadow knows the routine so he was ready to inspect the job.

There’s a torture embedded in garden work. It’s much like cleaning house in that once you start the task the more you see there is to do. So yeah, I pulled garden weeds for two hours and that led to another three hours of cutting down random jungle plants that now own the rest of our property.  Right now, because I’ve been busy,( i.e. lazy), I could cut bush off our property fences for about 10 hours before getting to mowing, cleaning flower beds and weeding the pineapple garden. This is why I’m moving out…nah, not really. Okay, maybe.

A pineapple flower-so beautiful to see. The plant can take two years to bring the flower forth, and then another 3 or 4 months to create a pineapple. But when they do, as  co-worker said today at work as I brought one in to share..” This is the best pineapple I’ve ever had.” Yes, bar none.

The garden owns me. I’m addicted to garden growth and a slave to the insects, moles, deer and weather that torments me. Speaking of moles, I once bailed our pool since it had rained enough to have it over-flow (something we’ve since learned is stupid, useless and plain annoying) only to finish and have a mole spurt out of the ground by the pool’s edge and land flat on its back deader than a, well, dead mole. Now? I wish I’d thought to perform CPR on that rascal.

Age has a way of making a person care for others no matter how small.  I don’t even mind that last spring a deer hopped my garden fence, a garden full of growing crops, and ate only three things: all three of my basil plants down to the ground! In my younger crazy years I might have wished for a shot gun but now at my age I laughed my ass off searching for any trace of my basil plants…(not really, not even the fatty part of my ass went missing.) I imagined that deer jumping in the garden and deciding what he wanted to eat that night.

My Grandchildren ate some dragon fruit(I didn’t grow it) and I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t care about the mole.

They got busy swimming.

I took a photo of the sorta finished garden—there’s about 4 more hours of weeding and planting left before the fall garden is in.

In the end, or is this the beginning—we never know, right?—the garden keeps me in touch with some neighbors who walk bye and smile or who I give produce to. It keeps me in touch with the world as it turns and the seasons change. It keeps me young at heart and a bit more fit than I’d be if I wasn’t working it. And, it supports  micro-brewery’s!

Here’s to the basil eatin’ deer, condolences to that one mole long ago. I hate you inch worms and I’ll get you! About those weeds? We have to talk; I’ve been pulling you out of my garden twice a year for twenty years now and it’s not because I don’t like you: I freakin’ hate you!

I’ll be workin’ it, turning the soil and planting the seeds soon.

Go ahead; plant something and watch it grow.

Franque23

BTW, it’s called flash eyes, but I call it spirit photography. Here’s to National Dog’s Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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