Friday, September 18, 2009

The Harvest Moon is New

As you sow, so shall you reap. That is the message of the Harvest Moon. It is the time of year when the fruits of the year's work at coming ready for harvest both literally and figuratively. As the days get shorter we are spending more time thinking and we have time to reflect on what we have and what we have earned. It is a time to fess up to taking too much responsibility and to own up to not taking enough. It is a time to reap the good karma of our loving, thoughtful actions as well as the bad karma of our thoughtless or malicious actions.

It is also the time of year to harvest the goodies out of the fields and gardens that we spent all year working on. I planted and tended a beautiful little vegetable garden this year and have really enjoyed the work and the harvest. The Harvest Moon is the polarity to the Seed Moon which adds symmetry to the fact that the last time I told you about my garden was in my Seed Moon post.

As I said then I was planning two gardens for this year, one at my parent's house and one at my own little house. The bed at my parent's house is 4' x 6' and I planted early season greens, peas and beets as well as an eggplant, a chile pepper plant and some flowers. My lettuce was a huge success and there was a time when I was harvesting more than I reasonably wanted to eat. The radishes, on the other hand, were a complete bust. Who knows why but the garden spirits just didn't feel like granting me radishes this year. Ah well, they made up for it in beets and chard. One of the big suprises in my little garden was the calendula I planted. I think I planted it late and didn't expect it to do anything but then one day I looked out and there was a gorgeous yellow sun of a flower. In fact, all the flowers I had in my garden were thrilling. Mostly they were bolted veggies like radish and mustard, but I loved my nasturtium, rosemary and pea flowers as well.

The little garden really isn't that much littler, but it did end up growing just one kind of food - tomatoes. Everyone needs a tomato plant or three and I had four. I grew a hybrid grape tomato and three heirloom slicing tomatoes. One set flower and fruit so late that I got only one single red tomato before the weather changed (note to self, don't buy that variety next year) but the Kellogs Breakfast Tomato and the Amish Paste both did respectably. The Kellogs Breakfast makes giant wrinkly tomatoes that ripen to an orange juice orange color. I am certainly growing those again next year!

Growing a garden is a deeply moving experience when you approach it as a partnership between yourself and the plants. I really enjoyed getting to meet new plants and new vegetables this year. I loved eating food that grew in dirt I tended with my own hands. I loved the work I put into my garden and loved showing it off. Of course, I am already making plans for next season. I put in more lettuce and radishes for the fall (maybe the autumn fairies will like radishes more than the spring ones did) as well as collards, kale and chard. I'm planning a garlic planting and daydreaming about another bed or two or three.

What are you harvesting this autumn? What did you grow in your garden? What did you grow in the garden of your life this summer? How is that harvest coming along?

You can see more photos of my garden on my flickr stream here.

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