Musings on a hot summer, my fall garden and surviving

I was having a conversation over lunch  this summer with some colleagues.  We were all bemoaning the overly hot and dry weather and complaining about the state of our gardens and yards.   The consensus was the same.  No one was picking anything out of their gardens.  No one was mowing their yards.  Some had quite watering and were simply letting everything die.

I wondered out loud what did our pioneer ancestors do when they were not able to produce anything during the growing season to sustain them through the winter.   If we would have had to survive on our garden this summer, we would have starved, not to mention trying to put up enough food for the winter.

One of my friends stated that her step-mother was recently discussing that this summer reminded her of a growing season in the 1930s when they produced nothing.  Luckily, she remembered, that their fall gardens kicked in and they were able to make it through the winter.

So with high hopes, I am focusing on my fall garden.  With rain and cooling temperatures, maybe we will be lucky enough to get enough fall tomatoes to can and freeze.

With that in mind, I went to the garden this morning to pick peppers.   (I guess in a pinch we could survive on bell peppers and watermelon!)  I have some beautiful peppers growing right now.  I picked a few for an omelet this morning.

While I was looking for something else to throw in, I found some torpedo red onions that we had bought at the farmers market a while back. (I had seen these onions in the grocery stores at times, but never at a FM.  I must see if I can buy seeds.)

I also had some leftover pancetta from our watermelon salad.

Colorful ingredients.

That with  some local eggs, I made breakfast.

I did find some meager little tomatoes in the garden this morning as well.

Breakfast is served.

I feel very blessed that I am able to go to our own farmers market where I can buy local eggs.

I feel very blessed that I can travel to nearby cities and buy exotic looking onions on a whim.

I feel very blessed that I can meander down to my garden and just be surprised to find purple peppers.

But now, the what ifs.

Seriously, I feel almost flippant as I post this breakfast.

Although I grew up on a farm and we did our best to grow what we ate, mom still had the luxury/necessity  of going to the grocery store every week.

I think back to my grandparents and my grandmother’s well stocked root cellar with home canned peaches, pears, green beans, tomatoes, etc.   My husband tells stories of his grandparents (who lived in a truly remote area) butchering every fall and canning meat to tide them over for the winter.

If my garden doesn’t make it, there is always the large chain grocery store up the street.

If we had to subsist on only what we toiled to grow, could we survive?  I think not.   But, I will continue to have high expectations for my gardens every year.  (Even now, I am going to search for torpedo onion seeds for next spring.)

I feel truly blessed that I have the luxury to muse about such things as I eat my leisurely breakfast this morning and make a shopping list for the farmers market and the grocery store.

NOTE:  Always the eternal optimist, I did find these onion seeds at Heirloom Seeds.  They are on order now for next spring!

 

 

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My Favorite Reads

Eat, Pray, Love
Running with Scissors
SantaLand Diaries
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Angela's Ashes
Naked
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
My Life in France
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
The Liars' Club
Code Name Verity
The Paris Wife
The Shoemaker's Wife
The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo: A Novel
Brother of the More Famous Jack
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls


Debra's favorite books »