As the Canadian Thanksgiving ends and the American Thanksgiving approaches, I thought it would be a “humbling” experience to chronicle the “results” of my cottage garden. It all started back in the winter when I had the hair-brained idea to make a vegetable garden at the cottage. The rational for making the cottage garden was two-fold. First, we spend a lot of time at the cottage in the warmer months. Secondly, I have nowhere at home to build a suitably sized garden.
So back in early May, a few of my high school buddies helped me build a raised bed garden at the cottage during one of our bi-annual weekends together. I went to great lengths & cost in order to make my garden predator proof and I had a local guy deliver 4 yards of triple-mix. Everything was going along well, even though Mr. Local Guy was quite concerned that I would be growing my pot too close to the road. I assured him that it would be vegetables that I would “attempt” to grow. He gave me the same look that most rural folks give when they hear that I take our chickens to the cottage.I then proceeded to plant the garden in early June.
Throughout July I lovingly tended my gardens. I watered, weeded and sent silent thoughts of encouragement for a bountiful harvest to begin in August. Maybe my thoughts weren’t encouraging enough because my garden didn’t respond with a yield that could feed one, let alone a family of 4. By late August, I knew we were in trouble with a harvest of only 7 beans, 3 cherry tomatoes and a miniscule feed of Swiss chard that wouldn’t even provide a snack for the chickens, let alone a side dish for this City Boy. By Labor Day, I knew we were doomed. It pained me to watch many of you write posts on your successful gardens and all of the produce that you would consume and share. Don’t get me wrong….I was happy for each of you. I just wanted a bit of tasty success for my own family.As it turns out, Jack Frost dealt his deadly blow before the Canadian Thanksgiving. So much for the dream of plump red Roma tomatoes that were destined to be bruschetta, salad accompaniments, and sandwich fillers. As for the Leeks…..they were suppose to be the main ingredient in our Leek & Potato soup. Chili peppers…….they were to be dried, crushed and used in our hot Italian sausage and salami making recipes. I could go on and on, but it hurts too damn much!
In hind-sight, I now see that my fatal mistake came way back in May long before I even planted my garden. I still remember that fateful Saturday when my two buddies and I thoroughly discussed the location of the garden while quenching our thirst on a few beers from a local micro-brewery. Maybe there was some mind altering ingredient in that micro-brewery beer? Maybe it was the heat of the sun that beat down on our Vitamin E deprived brows? But…….maybe………….. it was the fact that the FREAKIN’ LEAVES ON THE ENORMOUSLY LARGE FREAKIN’ TREES THAT GREW FAR ENOUGH AWAY FROM THE GARDEN WERE STILL IN THEIR TINY FREAKIN’ BUDS……..BUDS THAT WERE WAITING TO OPEN AND BLOCK ANY POSSIBILITY OF SUNLIGHT AFTER 3PM! Damn! How could I have been so stupid? Nonno, If you are looking down on me….please stop shaking your head. I know I came from a family that had its roots in farming, but I’m just a City Boy trying to reconnect with his Family’s past.
Well….I might as well get it over with….swim out to the raft….proceed to jump off and make the biggest belly flop that I am capable of making……………….But wait………..Why should I be the only one punished for this oversight??????? Ah Hello?????? Mr. 5 Maples……..don’t you guys hold any responsibility for taking away my mid-afternoon sun which created that 2 inch cucumber, those emaciated leeks and the green tomatoes that refuse to turn red?????? DAMN STRAIGHT YOU DO! Well………at least it’s gonna’ be warm in the cottage next WINTER! “Hey Beloved Wife……did you happen to get any leeks at the grocery store today? I’m thinking about making some soup for dinner tonight!