One of our Parris House hookers, Edna Olmstead, is already harvesting and pressure canning green beans for the fall and winter. Another said yesterday at Tuesday group that her tomatoes were in. And, of course, the local farm stands, run by professional growers and farmers, are overflowing with produce.
Here at the Parris House our garden more resembles the tortoise, from the fable, The Tortoise and the Hare. I’m not at all saying that my tortoise is going to win the gardening race. It’s not. But it will, save for some unforeseen early withering frost, come through in the end.
This was my first year teaching at the Squam Art Workshops in June. I was in a bit of a tizzy preparing for it and I could not face putting the garden in before I got back, which was the second week of June. Additionally, I had really wanted raised beds this year, and my husband and sons had not yet built them. When I returned from Squam, like magic, the beds were in place. The menfolk had built them in my absence. We took a trip to Shaker Hill Landscape & Nursery in Poland Spring, Maine for a bit more soil and compost and I was ready to roll. Very late, even by Maine standards, but ready.
The following pictures were taken on Monday, August 3rd. I think what they show is promise. Itty bitty beans on the vine, harvestable salad greens (we’ve had some; they’re delicious), modestly sized basil, pumpkin and squash blossoms, and more. I think the biggest race against time out there is the corn, which is only past knee high at this juncture, but we all need a little suspense in our gardening, don’t we?
I will be teaching at Squam again next year, but will probably be more relaxed in my preparations. The garden will go in earlier. Five years ago I would have been beside myself with this year’s tortoise garden. I know better now. A lesson learned at Squam and in a million different ways in the steady growth of Parris House Wool Works: it’s the process that matters most, one day at a time, doing everything you know how to do with heart and commitment and as much love as you can muster. Those are the conditions for growth, even if you’re starting late in your season.
And now, some pictures…hope you all like green!
Just yesterday in the Maine studio a relatively new hooker was lamenting on how slow she is in finishing projects (actually, she isn’t…but…you know…). Another hooker immediately came to her defense, telling her to be patient, that this was normal in the beginning, and praising the work that she had done. I also assured her that her future work would start to go more quickly. Sometimes, we just have to be ok with the pace of things. So it is with our late blooming garden.
I will post another story in about six weeks on how the harvest has gone, taking pics as we pull things in. By then my favorite time of year will be in full swing!
Happy gardening, don’t worry if you’re a tortoise, and happy hooking! – Beth