Monday, August 19, 2013

Mother Nature and My Garden


We shall have weather, whether or not"

 My mom used to say that, and it always makes me laugh whenever the subject of weather comes up. It’s so clich√© to talk about the weather, but still such a normal part of any conversation.

It fills an uncomfortable silence with a "how about this weather we are having, strange huh?!", and in a first time greeting- "nice to meet you, where are you from? San Diego, wow, must be nice to have perfect weather all year round!” It doesn’t matter how educated you are, or how much money you have, it seems that weather is the one thing that everyone can comfortably talk about. After all, it is what it is, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about the weather other than adjust your life around it. Also, what other job can you gets paid for, even if you are wrong more than half of the time? You can just shrug your wrong forecast off to “well, that’s Mother Nature for ya, she’s an unpredictable Gal!"

I would love to see if others could get their job wrong so much and still be employed. Somehow I doubt that, but I digress...

While this article is kind of about the weather, it’s not about the profession of weather forecasting, but rather how unpredictable weather can be, or at least where I live, in the Midwest. It’s true that you can have all four seasons in one week or less here, so I am pretty used to it, and usually have a backup plan for whatever I am going to be doing "just in case".

Last year at this time, I was writing about how long, hot and relentless our summer was. I was tired of the heat, and ready for fall.

This year is a totally different story. It’s been wetter than normal, cooler than normal, and here it is, the third week in August, and summer has finally arrived just in time for the kids to go back to school. Sorry kids!

But while this has been a very different summer weather wise than last year, and I feel like I have not really even had a good dose of summer yet, and am definitely not ready to relinquish it to fall yet, I do have to note that there have been some good things that have come out of this weather. This year’s weather caused the farmers to rush to get their crops in, dodging rain drops and late spring frosts, but recent word is that they are going to have bumper corn crops, so that is great news! And even though I have not been able to spend much time in my pond due to the coolness of the water, (truth be told, I couldn’t spend much time in it last year as the water level was too low, and frankly, what water was in it, felt more like a hot tub than a refreshing dip in the pond, so pass on that!) my garden has loved and is thriving like crazy with this kind of weather. I have given part of my mega loads to my family and friends, and still have plenty to can and freeze, and so I have been canning and freezing my produce with a bee like frenzy!

Now, If you have ever canned foods, you know that canning and freezing it a lot of work and a lot of mess, but I have to say, I love, love, love looking at my full shelves and freezer with all of that food. The satisfaction that I get looking at the finished product, far outweighs my achy back and mountains of dishes that I have to do each time I can something. I have tried new recipes this year, and each one is better than the next, and I find myself looking forward to going out to the garden to see what is ready to be canned next. All of this has been made possible by Mother Nature providing the perfect weather for my garden. Not the hot summer that I expected and thought that I was planning for, but exactly what my garden needed, so, I guess I would have to say that her unpredictable nature was exactly what I needed as well. That Mother Nature, she is an unpredictable Gal, isn’t she?

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