|A homegrown Bent Barrow carrot. (He was delicious.)|
I've tried following the much more regionally-specific advice issued in that bible of Northwest vegetable gardeners, the Seattle Tilth's Maritime Northwest Gardening Guide, and that's generally gone better. I've tried carefully plotting my sowing schedule, making beautiful color-coded spreadsheets during the last days of January to see me through September and beyond. I've tried journaling my garden successes and failures. All of it tends to come to naught by June or July, when my interest in the garden is limited to eating its bounty and doing the bare minimum to keep the weeds at bay. It's not my only, or my favorite, obligation, and as much as I am an expert at loving gardens, I am still learning to love gardening.
This year, I'm trying something new. I'm gardening when the whim strikes me, in little bursts of brief, satisfying effort. I'm looking at the garden as a quilt, a patchwork of small opportunities to improve small areas. I'm facing our 1600 square feet of weedy spring soil one square yard at a time, and I'm actually enjoying it.
Lest you misunderstand, 75% of the garden bounty we usually enjoy is the result of my husband's labor, and I don't mean to suggest that I've done any of it alone. I've only agonized, alone, about how to do it better. I'm great at gardening on paper, while he's great at gardening in earth. This spring, I feel ready to take up more of the load.