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The Summer of my Discontent

December 31st, 2009

This has been a rough summer here at Chiot’s Run. We’ve been super busy with our business, which is good for the checkbook, bad for the gardens. Because we’re so busy we’ve had less time to work outside than we would have liked. We had a list of projects we wanted to complete and they’re all still on the list.
I also had to deal with physical problem, so after months of pain, months of therapy and months of strict limitations on my physical activity, the gardens began showing a little neglect. My front flowerbeds remain only partially edged in rock walls.
That new flowerbed I dug in the spring still lies fallow, at least I planted some crimson clover in it to improve the soil. I wanted to get a fall cover crop growing, but was not allowed to turn the soil. So instead I spent the summer doing this, resting.
I did spend some time this spring building a lovely wall around my small cherry tree. A month or two later, my Dr said “no more heavy lifting for 3-4 months and only moderate lifting for a few months after that”.
So, instead of spending lots of time building up the small retaining walls by the driveway and elsewhere the rocks sit at the edge of the driveway waiting for their final destination.
Since heavy lifting was out, watering by hand was out of the question. Mr Chiots installed a pump so I could use the rain water from my barrel system with the hose & sprinkler.
I also ended up with plants I didn’t get planted, digging holes was also not allowed. I had trouble weeding, too much bending over caused too much pain. It wasn’t until late this fall that I have been able to get out and put any amount of time in. I got a few things planted before the ground froze, I was at least able to weed the flowerbeds before the first frost. I’m finally on the mend and building up my strength once again. I love a good challenge though, so I’ll spend all winter to getting ready for spring gardening season.
I laced up my running shoes last week for the first time in over a year (injury happened towards the end of Oct in 2008, last day running was the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day 2008). I hopped on my trusty treadmill and started the slow climb back to running races and serious gardening. It will be a month or two until I’m able to run outside, perfect timing since I love running in the cold snowy weather. Hopefully by spring gardening season I’ll be ready to finish all those rock walls and turn all that soil.
All was not lost this summer, I could have spent the summer upset since I couldn’t do much, but instead I learned to love the process of gardening. It’s not a race to get things looking great right away. Gardening takes time, there are seasons involved, times for work and times for rest. 2009 happened to be a year of rest for me. I call it “The Summer of my Discontent”, but in a way I learned to be content. I’m not one to sit around and relax, but I was forced to do so this summer and learned the value of it. Hopefully in coming years I’ll be able to take time to relax and enjoy the fruits of my labor instead of working all the time.
Here’s to the tough times, these are the times we learn the most about ourselves and grow the most as person. I’m looking forward to 2010 to see what it has in store for us here at Chiot’s Run.

How you you summarize your 2009 gardening year?

14 Comments to “The Summer of my Discontent”
  1. Erika on December 31, 2009 at 7:09 am

    I am glad I am not the only person up this early in the morning or you autoposted this. :0) In that case I might be the only one who woke at 30 thinking of the year to come and the one passing.

    Sad to say my garden was neglected for pursuits outside my home that really had to reason for so much attention. I am thinking of that as I sit here at my dining room table and everyone is snoring including the dog.But he by my side….

    I think times when we need to rest are times we need and they are when we can see the light bulb pop on and learn more. We are more open to learning and seeing what it is we need to see and learn than any other time. We are humbled….we can smell the roses more instead of thinking aren’t those pretty but I have work to do.

    Its funny I posted something kinda along these lines just a few minutes ago LOL Early morning ponderings or self realizations?


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  2. kristin @ going country on December 31, 2009 at 8:54 am

    2009? Wet and disappointing.

    I suspect that this coming gardening season is going to be a little more challenging, what with having a new baby and all that that entails.

    Good luck with your recovery. You’ll be racing along at top speed in no time.
    .-= kristin @ going country´s last blog ..Oh, Those Tricky Chicks =-.

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  3. Dave on December 31, 2009 at 9:26 am

    I’m sorry that you weren’t able to enjoy the garden much this year. At least you’ll be ready to go for 2010! You’re right that gardening is a process and shouldn’t be a rush to get things done. 2009 was a good year for us in the garden overall. The vegetable garden wasn’t as good as I had hoped. We actually had too much rain and it all came after I installed an irrigation system! It never really got used. We built an arbor, started a greenhouse-shed, and added rock borders to various beds.
    .-= Dave´s last blog ..Garden Project Review for 2009 =-.

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  4. Rachel on December 31, 2009 at 10:09 am

    2009 was a learning year. Realizing what we like to grow and eat and what we can best can and process for the winter time. Accepting the fact that I need to work and be employeed at this time and working with the time constraits that gives.
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..mmmhhmm =-.

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  5. the inadvertent farmer on December 31, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    My garden was the most productive it has ever been…yet my list of ‘wants and dreams’ for it seems to be producing as fast as the garden.

    I am glad you are on the mend and getting ready for next season…can’t wait to see what you will do! Happy New Year, Kim
    .-= the inadvertent farmer´s last blog ..Decorating for New Year’s Eve quick easy Inexpensive =-.

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  6. deedee on December 31, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    i had big gardening dreams, but they didn’t turn out how i had planned! i tried to plant a small garden, but with working, taking care of 3 small kids, and being huge pregnant during the summer the garden was severely neglected! so bad that my husband mowed over it with the lawn mower bc he was embarrassed! i did manage to get some radished and lettuce from it before it got out of hand though. i also learned how to freeze corn & can green beans (from our friend’s garden!) and also how to make applesauce with apples from a local orchard. hoping for more this year! hope you’re feeling better susy… sounds like a serious injury?

    Reply to deedee's comment

  7. Chicago Mike on December 31, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I wondered why you were being so lazy.

    Bwahahahahaha. :D

    Are you kidding me? Even hurt you did more than many of us (self included!). I did not know you were in such a hard way. We will add you to our prayers for a full recovery.
    .-= Chicago Mike´s last blog ..Things I Am Not Sure I Want In My Garden Again =-.

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  8. risa b on December 31, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Oh, my. Yes, those stones count as heavy lifting! Be good, and get better soon.

    Unlike all our friends back East, we probably had our most productive year ever. Weather was, largely, great. Bugs were relatively rare. We quadrupled the garden, doubled the orchard, doubled the poultry pasture, and began preparing the grainfield area. Harvests were not our best per plant and the apples and plums were a bust, but the expansion added up to our best food preservation year.

    In case all this activity puts y’all to wondering, I retired this year. Might have something to do with it, y’think? ;)
    .-= risa b´s last blog ..Ah, hindsight =-.

    Reply to risa b's comment

  9. pam on December 31, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    I love your positive attitude. My gardening time was sorely lacking and I had no excuse!
    .-= pam´s last blog ..Happy New Years Eve! =-.

    Reply to pam's comment

  10. T on December 31, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    good attitude.
    I have learned that things happen for a reason, and when they are meant to.
    .-= T´s last blog ..looking back on 2009 =-.

    Reply to T's comment

  11. Julia on January 2, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Glad you are feeling better! Here’s to a new year! Gardening was a bit of a bust this year due to the rain and blight, but I’m hopeful as ever. The first catalog arrived the other day, and I’m already dreaming of what this year will bring. The process, I’m learning, is what I love.
    .-= Julia´s last blog ..Greek Roasted Lamb and Potatoes =-.

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  12. Miranda on January 5, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Could you give me any easy tips on installing a pump on my water barrel? I only have one, so it would be silly to do anything fancy, but i just hate walkign back and forth a thousand million times and never REALLY getting the veggies watered deeply enough.

    happy new year!
    .-= Miranda´s last blog ..Follow Up on my Kombucha Making =-.

    Reply to Miranda's comment

  13. Sustainable Eats on February 26, 2010 at 1:30 am

    I think even all overgrown your garden looks beautiful. And spring is coming soon. I hope you aren’t pushing yourself too hard!
    .-= Sustainable Eats´s last blog ..Organic Vermont Maple Syrup Buy =-.

    Reply to Sustainable Eats's comment

  14. Orrville Community Gardens | Chiot's Run on July 30, 2010 at 4:46 am

    […] summer I drove through Orrville a lot to go to physical therapy. Each week I would look at the small community garden that’s near the hospital. I kept wanting to […]

    Reply to Orrville Community Gardens | Chiot’s Run's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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