I am not a gardening expert, but have had the joy here on the island to have access to an amazing garden plot, as well as a landlord and other friends who are pros. They have taken me through such simple things as “how does one actually use a hoe,” to what to do when your beautiful pumpkin vines suddenly disappear in a haze of powdery mildew. Doh!
Last year was my first year of gardening that was not confined to containers on my back deck, and the first rule I set for myself was to be all right with taking risks and failing. And I did have some pretty spectacular fails, but more importantly I had the most spectacular harvest. It was better than any of my gardening dreams. I also had the extremely good luck to have my farmer landlord ask me if I’d be interested in preserving our crops. She would harvest her vegetables and provide the canning jars, I would do the actual preserving, and we would split the cost of any extra ingredients or canning lids. The result was an incredible larder literally splitting at the seams with pickles of all shapes and sizes, jams, chutnies, salsas and relishes. And that was all just in the first year. As we get closer to the gardening season starting in earnest this year, I can’t wait to see what happens.