It has been a good day at the Homestead. My little helpers and I were in the garden this afternoon, weeding the cucumbers – or what was left of them – in the cool of the afternoon shade. Between grasshoppers, birds, sowbugs and the poor germination rate of my seeds, the cucumber patch this year has been weak at best. But those plants that have made it have been doing well. That is, until my littlest weeding helper arrived on the scene.
The four-year old was proving to be my best helper, and so proud of all of the big weeds she was removing. I, as any good grandmother would do, was praising her efforts and cheering her on – until I looked behind me and saw that she had single handedly removed every cucumber plant from the row she was working on.
Resigned to a new beginning, I calmly reminded her of the difference between the good plants and the bad plants.
We continued weeding, and finished the project – with dirty hands and big smiles for a job well done.
So, tonight, after the dishes were done, rock-a-byes were sung, the girls were safely tucked into bed and grandpa was in deep reflection in front of the television, I returned to the garden, with head lamp burning brightly, to plant cucumber seeds for the last time this year.
I have never planted cucumbers this late in the year. . . only time will tell.
Yes, there may be very few cucumbers for pickles this year.
Yes, the harvest and brining of the dills will, if my late night adventures in planting are successful, be taking place months later than usual.
Yes, I am fully resigned to the fact that my efforts may be completely in vane.
No, I would not trade the afternoon spent in the garden, weeding with my precious girls for all the cucumber plants or pickles in the world.
Today’s harvest was far more important than anything that has ever grown in my garden.