Thursday, September 3, 2020

A small harvest

As I edge closer to retirement, my focus is more and more about what do to fill the hours I used to work outside the home. Writing will certainly be a big part of that, but my writing hat doesn't settle on my head for endless hour after hour after hour at a stretch. I find I can sit at the computer for perhaps an hour, and then I need to move around. I'm sure the fact my muscles stiffen up when I linger in the same spot for a long time is a sign of getting older. I don't like it much, but there it is. 

The "experts" agree that moving more is good for the body. So what is something else I'll do to move around for a few hours a day once I retire from the day job? The quick answer is container gardening. We enjoy fresh produce and growing some of our own will be a worthwhile hobby. Preserving some of it will enable us to eat cleaner, and growing in containers will help us keep the whitetail deer from eating all our hard work. 

This year we tried out a set of 5-gallon grow bags made of a heavy fabric that allows the bags to drain well - almost too well. Keeping the dirt moist enough was an issue during the hottest stretch of the summer. But all-in-all, the bags worked well. We were overrun with cucumbers, and the cherry tomatoes produced at a good pace for fresh eating. The bell peppers were doing great until a young doe got brave and munched the top out of the plants. She didn't get down to the peppers, but she ate off the flowers so those plants were finished. We're working on a better plan to thwart the deer next season.  

Growing up in the country, and watching my mother and grandmother preserve the bounty from the garden taught and prepared me to do this. I don't see it as work, but a connection to those who went before me. I've worked all my life with this as a goal - to one day, very soon now, to truly become the lady of the manor. 

My task for this coming winter is to select a canner for next year and purchase canning jars. Why can instead of freeze? Freezers are dependant on electricity, for one thing. The other is that I feel the freezer is better utilized for meat, baked goods, and prepared meals. 

I'm really looking forward to next summer. "Retirement" no longer means sitting at home drawing a pension, at least not to me. I think an early morning walk with Deuce, a turn at the computer, tending the garden before noon, another stretch at the computer during the heat of the day, evenings on the patio, a final time at the computer after dark will make for many perfect days. It's just the sort of schedule to feed this writer's soul.

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com
www.twitter.com/kckendricks
www.facebook.com/kckendricks





No comments: