In years past August was the time to be grateful that the summer garden was wrapping up. The weeds are high. Bugs saturate plants. Leaves wither.
The last of the squash and tomatoes and melons are harvested, still juicy and flavorful but there are no more proud tours of the garden. No more pictures of lush green plants posted to Facebook and Instagram. No more bragging about the “first” okra, the “first” pepper. Firsts are done.
August was when I did my best to fight against thoughts of Labor Day, football games and school buses.
But as life has morphed and I now grow 9 months of the year, August is a month of rebirth. The third, or maybe even fourth time during the year, to try and get it right.
August is when we start the fall garden.
This week we’ll be seeding kale, spinach, beets, parsnips, and greens. The fall garden is the hardiest. We’ll enjoy the fruits of our labor well into the next year. These are the plants that will sustain us, through the first chilly morning, the icy winter, the wet spring.
Each August I panic a little, down deep where no one else can see. The panic is a fear that I’ll lose my enthusiasm for growing. That come August I’ll be too exhausted to plant one more seed. Too burned out to face another harvest. Too done with it all to muster excitement for another growing season.
And each August I pull out the bins of seeds that are tucked away in an extra refrigerator and marvel at the possibilities of what they represent.
This year, I muse, I’ll have a bountiful fall garden. It will be weed free and produce for months. I’ll post pictures of its beauty on social media and revel in eating fresh throughout the winter. This year will be the best fall garden ever.
Another August has arrived. Another rebirth, gratefully, arrived with it.