In the Garden

With this “Frankenstorm” heading towards us, my Dad and I finally had the push to get the garden completely cleared out. The kale was harvested and (painstakingly) cleaned, cooked, bagged and frozen. The dried beans were picked (and will wait until tomorrow to be shelled and laid out to dry.) Apart from a little lettuce and my celery*, which have both bolted, everything has been removed from the garden—trellis posts, tomato and pepper cages, hoses.

I have to admit that I haven’t been in the garden in the last three weeks. Being forced down there today, I was also forced to think about why I was avoiding it. Part of me is relieved that it’s all over, that I can take it easier. But I have come to realize that mostly I’m sad and almost feel abandoned. How could you die when I need you so? Intellectually I know that nothing really dies—it’s all just cycles. But knowing that still doesn’t change how you feel when you sink into the low part of the cycle.

I just need to remind myself of all the beauty and life that still pulses in winter—it’s just perhaps not so obvious. I have many projects casting on many different needles. Hoping to experiment with gourds a bit. Those stacks of books I can indulge in. Baking! Hiking! I have dates and parties planned. I’ve even started painting my nails again. And I may finally clean some of the house beyond blowing dust off surfaces and vacuuming around objects on the floor.

Tonight, I ended up sore and tired. I’ve missed this. Honestly, I hate “exercising.” I know a lot of people love running or hitting the gym or doing zumba. Not me. It’s not because I’m lazy by nature but rather it’s just not fun to me. I’d rather gain muscle mass by lugging heavy objects, yanking out stubborn weeds, cleaning out or rearranging boxes in the basement or barn, clambering over rocks and wandering down trails, even by stirring dough. (I just wish it burned enough calories to level out my love for chocolate!)

I basically took the summer off of work to be in the garden. Although I didn’t literally make a lot of money, I filled a 27 cubic foot freezer with vegetables. With the garden done I need to figure out where I am going from here.

I saw feather today while hauling tomato cages up to the barn. Remember when I said I had read somewhere that when you find a feather it means you are on the right path? Well, there has to be something to the fact that you only find feathers outside.

I do know I want to lead an authentic life. One where less is more. One where things are simple but so pure and so rich. I want to feel proud of myself and what I do. I want to be self-sufficient.

Thank you all in advance for letting me ramble. I hope this makes sense—I just now realized it’s after one in the morning.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

*I harvested most of my celery before the first frost hit and my Mom cooked it down and pureed it into a creamy celery soup.


  1. Reply
    nicola lynde October 27, 2012

    It’s funny how different it looks now, and how much different it will look once the winter really sets in. Fall always seems to be a good time of year for reflecting, revisiting and revamping. Changes leaves, changing ideas I think.

  2. Reply
    Snoodles October 27, 2012

    I know exactly what you mean….our family has a yearning to do the simple, the fulfilling, the satisfying things in life. And oh, how I wish we were even more self-sufficient! You have made an amazing start: filling that big freezer! Have a lovely weekend!

  3. Reply
    Lori October 28, 2012

    By the time October rolls around I need to be dragged out to the garden again too. I love harvesting in the summertime but when it’s wet and raining and there are spiders everywhere…I lose momentum.

    I really enjoy your blog and your efforts to “lead a more authentic life.” Your photos are beautiful and your words are inspiring.

  4. Reply
    Sylvie October 29, 2012

    je vois que nous avons eu la même idée toute les deux, moi aussi je fais un super rangement dans ma maison et j’essaie par tout les moyens de perdre des calories et apparemment l’automne est effectivement propice à la réflexion.

  5. Reply
    Sara October 29, 2012

    I love your rambling.

    Quietly and authentically is the only way TO live. I admire you for knowing that’s what you want.

    The chickens are calling… it’s going to rain, and they want to be fed and put away. Good luck weathering this hurricane, my dear.


  6. Reply
    harmony October 31, 2012

    I am totally in agreement about exercise. Give me a good hike and stacking wood over a treadmill and exercise machine any day!

    I hope “Sandy” was kind to you and your family.

  7. Reply
    Alice November 6, 2012

    do you just let the beans dry on the vine? do the bugs get to them at all?

    • Reply
      Liesl November 9, 2012

      Yes, we let them dry on the vine. The bugs didn’t get them but some got moldy. I removed them all from the shells (time consuming!) then rinsed in some vinegar water and then spread them out on cookie sheets and actually put them in the oven on the lowest setting for a little while, to be sure they were fully dried.

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