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Country Mouse Monday: already planning next year's garden!

Just two weeks ago I was exulting in the calm that follows the busy of summer, that nice quiet fallow time when the garden is mostly stripped and dormant, when the compost is where the action is, and when my time is spent much more indoors.  It's such sweet and well-earned rest.

I guess I'm all rested up now.

Let two weeks pass and guess what?  I'm already flipping through my box of seeds, ordering catalogs on-line and planning out next spring's garden, dreaming of how I want it to be, what I want to grow and eat and share. And maybe sell.

Note: yes, that is my actual seed box pictured above, a card catalog put to a slightly different use, packets organized into Flowers, Herbs, Salad, Veggies.  Country Mouse: yes, but Type A Country Mouse: for SURE.  

So I'm reviewing our stock of seeds and dreaming a bit, wishing the mail would hurry up and bring me the Baker Creek catalog.  Even though they're just 30 minutes up the road from me, still, I can't wait to be sitting on the couch of an evening or weekend afternoon, leafing through their selection, folding down corners on pages that feature items I particularly want.  I'm presently fighting an urge to get in the car and go to the nursery, just to see what they have.

It's just hard not to have something in cultivation. All that amended, good soil wants something to do. Or so I tell myself.

Already I think next year's garden is going to have a very Southern French flavor.  We got started on this a bit this year, thanks to long, sweet peppers we grew for my parents. We planted quite a few of these thinking we'd share the harvest with my parents.  Little did we, or they, know that this would be the year they'd sign onto a medically-supervised diet beginning late August, coinciding perfectly with when these peppers were ready to eat, and that we'd have a bumper crop to eat all on our lonesomes.  But still they're delicious, and I definitely want a repeat.

Then, on our trip to the Pyrenees recently, I fell in love with two other staple foodstuffs: the little green pumpkin called Potimarron and white Tarbais beans.  All I need now is a ready source of duck fat and we'll be eating delicious southern French meals all next summer and fall!

Isn't it just totally human nature to be sick of something and wishing it would end, then, almost in the very the moment it's over, to be filled with nostalgia and wishing for its resumption? With the garden, it's so true.  There's something so exciting about starting over every year -- always another chance to put lessons learned to work, to do better, to grow more.

And always, always, so many good things to eat.  Next summer is going to be delicious!

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