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Weeding

Posted 5/31/2012 7:51am by Julie Hurst / Roy Brubaker.

Thursday, May 31

The weeds had overshadowed the carrots when I finally found a moment to tend our vegetable garden yesterday.  The first hint of spring heightens my enthusiasm for a lovely garden, then spring arrives and the pastures are growing, the sheep need to be moved, the sows with their hungry litters fed, steers kept on the freshest of grass, lawn mowed, etc, etc. and the intended garden is quickly overrun with the unintended garden of lambs quarters, purslane and smartweed, interspersed with a few nasty burdock.  I grew up in Amish country and they set a very high standard for what a garden should look like. Neat rows of vegetables, some with tight trellises, all bordered by blooming petunias or marigolds with nary a weed in sight.  It seemed every time I passed my Amish neighbors, a young girl was in the garden with a hoe.  (Now there’s a thought!  School is out today and those iPods we allowed the girls to purchase with their Christmas and birthday money will replaced with long handled hoes and sunbonnets!)  In many ways I’ve departed from the landscape of my childhood, all tidy lawns and pruned shrubs, nature held tight in the reigns.  Our lawn is increasingly a series of mown pathways, my flowerbeds are wild looking; I don’t want to fight nature’s constant flux.  It exhausts me; it’s destined to win.  Why can’t we just get along?  But… those potatoes and sweet peas – I’m going to fight a bit for those guys. The lambs quarters is full of vitamins and minerals and purslane is tasty, so perhaps they can hang around, but the rest of that unintended garden will give my girls a summer job and the pigs in the barnyard a wonderful treat. And we will dine on sweet peas and new potatoes.