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The land coughed up a glass dome canning lid. Furthermore, it is in pristine condition.

(And part of me is wondering how much of the dirt we’ve rubbed together with enough intention to midwife the glass from the sand, I do admit. Also, this is, after all, Mailer’s Landing, innit?)

We planted in May. I will probably always think of it as our cheese sandwich garden.

The garden was not going to be stopped – I had planned to plant a garden since before we moved in, and plans for the Where of it happened over the next few months. I watched where the sun hit in the morning all winter. I planned for raised beds so I could move them around if I needed to. The cost of raised beds was later exchanged for a bunny-proof fence and a two-triangles style design Bill came up with. We hired friends with the equipment to pull up the grass and till, and we planted.

Everything (everything!) but weed* went in the triangles – the secondary plot out back is more private from the road. Bill and Lib put in little red gates. I brought it plants I had never grown before, and plants I had started indoors on both missions and whims, and full-sized tomatoes, and purple cauliflower and tomatillos from the REC, and cucumbers, and enough spaghetti squash that we had to build them a cubbie to climb. We planted corn in silly ways (and won silly prizes), and replaced the pumpkins with new ones my mother brought, and beans! I loved growing beans! We fixed it when it flooded and got a new 6-pack of beet plugs that came with a rogue cherry tomato plant. It’s been so good. It was soul nourishing, just watching everything grow. There were sunflowers! There were purple beans and tomatoes and squashes that look like little birds! I encourage the bees when I see them – I bought them a rose of sharon, even. I talk to my plants. I praise them as they grow and I thank them when I harvest.

July: The Ripening
Squash cubbie. Also pictured, but obscured, a zucchini plant and a bunch of crooknecks

We’ve eaten from this garden all summer – especially the herb patch outside the main garden, the tomatoes and the peppers. I canned and froze SO many things I hadn’t before – Faux-Tel, salsa verde, apple jelly and butter, apple pie filling, chicken stock, seafood stock, spicy dill pickles, relish. I learned to use a pressure canner, and we’ll have beans for a few meals. Despite the odds, I got a whole pint of beets! There are pumpins and onions (small, a few – I want to learn more!) and squash in the cellar alsongside apple stuff from our picking run a few weeks ago. Bill and I walk the grounds together a lot and talk about how grateful we are for this. We’ve pulled up weeds and cleared areas that were choked and transplanted the grass from the garden patch. We’ve cleared paths and planted things, and reclaimed a bunch of space behind the main parcel. We pulled out a tarp and found a berry mound to steward. We started a compost heap in earnest. And here it is, October, I’m still out almost every morning for a poke around and a small harvest. I’ll need to bring in green tomatoes soon – maybe tomorrow, after the last cannabis harvest.

And she’s heard me, I think, complaining about jars and, especially, lids for canning – they were scarce this season between tin shortages and COVID. The kitchen window’s been open on and off now for weeks. I’m not known for my subtlety inside my own home.** The land knows where I’m at, yo.

So when Bill and Lib pulled out the two little trees behind the garage to make a place for the greenhouse that should arrive next week, it should have been no surprise that the jar lid arrived. But, I mean, of course it was a surprise because it’s crows who’re known for that sort of shiny-treats business, not the land. But also, again on the first hand: magic is real; magic is sympathetic and tied up in intention, and we did name our home for the Armada, whose story begins with a Seed.

*Except one darling one-foot-tall lollipop by the corn.
**Which also might be inside your home if you live nearby in the summer.

todays

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