Sometime in the fall, Heather obtained a boatload of manure for the garden. Actually, not a boatload; more like a yachtload. Today I used the tractor to scrape off a few cubic yards of it and spread out the remainder across the garden.

Heather is super excited about having seeded her first indoor starts for the season: little gem lettuce, red Russian kale, mizuna, romanesco broccoli, Chinese broccoli, and green cauliflower. She made some garden markers, too.

I’ve tried so hard this year to keep our garden full. When beets come out, i have another flat ready to plant in their place. If a seed doesn’t sprout, i quickly reseed. If baby ducks nip the tops off, I replant and build a little baby duck fence around the seedlings.

But yesterday as I pulled the yellowed, leathery stalks of the asparagus beans and cucumbers, there was nothing ready to go in their place. And I felt like I was a bad, bad, unproductive gardener. Saaaaad.

I’m not an unproductive gardener, and I wish my brain wouldn’t say rude things like that. The truth is that I’ve been an incredibly productive gardener. It’s peak harvest season and there’s not time in a day to plant as well as reap and preserve. I spend a lot of time preparing and preserving the harvest so that we can enjoy it throughout the year, but no time right now to also tend broccoli, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, and cabbage.

If a section of our garden goes quiet for a season, that’s probably a good sign that I don’t have the bandwidth to manage another plant. Maybe the best thing I can do is heap a pile of rabbit manure on top and wait until spring. And cut myself some slack.

I’d like to thank Mother Nature for reseeding our Mizuna plant without any help from me. I was going to save seeds, but a hungry animal got to them before I could. One seed decided to strike out on its own and make its fortune next to where its mother plant grew up. Thank you Mother Nature!

The tatsoi has sprouted nicely, the orach pretty well, and the mizuna, lettuce, and cutting greens sparsely. Keeping the soil surface moist has been a challenge this week due to extremely high winds (strong east winds blew the farm stand over yesterday) and very low humidity.

I finished installing the garden irrigation system today. We can run two soaker hoses on each of the six garden rows.

This evening we planted tatsoi, muzuna, and orach in row 5, and little gem lettuce and cutting mix in row 6 (3×3 patches about 6 feet in from the east end). The seeds are so tiny, they remind me of having “faith as a grain of mustard seed.” It’s hard to believe that these ones will grow into food for the dinner table.