gather and grow

Homegrown, hand-spun living in the city

Of course I knew that this day was supposed to be all about new beginnings. But I hadn’t expected that a new beginning would be forced on me like this, so unexpectedly.

We returned home on New Year’s Day, well-nourished by food and love and restful time after the holidays with my family, only to find our garden beds looking like this:startagain

Almost everything was decimated — kale, broccoli raab, collards, mustard, radishes, cabbage, and the broccoli with its precious newly emerging florets. The only thing left of our modest garden was a few lone swiss chards poking out of the straw mulch. We’re suspecting rabbits. Squirrels or other small rodents have been around all fall, causing minor damage but never to this extent, and there are no deer here in the heart of the city as far as I know.

A few years ago, when I planted the first garden of my adulthood, I read somewhere that becoming a gardener entails a ten-year learning curve. You can’t really accelerate the learning process, or substitute books for experience: there is no way but to live through all of those seasons, to make all of those mistakes, to experience the wettest year and the hottest year and the aphid invasion and so on. If ever there was a school of trial and error, gardening is it.

Astartagain-2nd so we’ll have to learn from this loss as well, and move on. Soon it will be time to plant the first seedlings indoors for the spring garden. I already have my eyes on some new seed varieties from the catalog of Sow True Seed, an Asheville-based seed company specializing in open-pollinated and non-GMO seeds. It’ll be fun to plan our spring crops. But I assure you, as we do so, we’ll be incorporating some kind of rabbit fencing or other deterrent in the plan.

Here’s to a new year and a new growing season!

7 thoughts on “Start again

  1. Oh, I feel for you! I had a groundhog decimating my entire patch of snap peas (flowering at the time) and lettuce last year. I was so close to tears when I saw it. All the hard work! But, there’s always the next season. Like you said, learn and move on. Rabbit fencing sound like a good plan.🙂

    1. Mari says:

      Thanks for the sympathy! I guess this is bound to happen at some point in any gardener’s career…

  2. A Regeneration Nation says:

    I totally feel for you! If it wasn’t, the heat, it was the chooks or the sneaky rabbits until the fox got them. Sigh, urban farming at is least tantalizing😉. Btw, do u have possums? I’ve been told that rabbits & possums r big on scent so u can hang stockings filled w/blood n bone as a deterrent for them. Good luck on ur spring batch!

    1. Mari says:

      I don’t think we have possums… though I’ll keep my eyes open! Thanks for the tip!

      1. A Regeneration Nation says:

        You are welcome! Always best tips share ones knowledge😉

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