Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Tale of Two Harvests

                             Sometimes it's the things we "don't" plan on that work out the best. Last fall while preparing the soil for our Bird and Butterfly garden we tilled in some of our home made compost to the new area and waited until spring to begin planting... Much to our surprise around mid June some volunteers began to sprout in our garden.

These mysterious interlopers were easy to identify as some sort of squash plant. Instead of removing them, we decided to play "wait and see". I was sure white pumpkins would begin growing after the glorious yellow flower subsided because we had tried to grow them once but nothing ever happened. My husband was sure it was acorn squash and the kids were hoping for big orange pumpkins! We had so much fun trying to guess what we were growing over the summer. As the vines stretched out over the newly tilled soil and across the lawn, small, squash-like fruit began to appear! After a time we were able to discern that we were not growing pumpkins, white or orange, nor were we about to harvest nearly a hundred acorn squash. Nope! We were growing gourds!!!
 I must have tossed the gourds I used for holiday decorating into the compost pile. To this day we still don't know the offical name of the varieties we had but we know they fell into the "Ornamental Gourd" department... We had a wheel barrel full of them plus two large buckets. We had more fun sharing them with our neighbors, friends and relatives.

For a few short weeks I felt the satisfaction of what all farmers must feel like at harvest time when they have had a good year and are rewarded with a bountiful crop! We missed the excitement of growing the "mystery" gourds in our garden this year but we were thrilled to find out that some friends whom we had shared our harvest with had the honor of "growing" some at their house straight from their compost pile!  Just the other day, my friend presented me with a huge basket of gourds and when I saw them I was reminded once again that it is so easy to get wrapped up in the big picture, that we don't always recognize the smaller gifts that are before us each and every day...
Taking the time to slow down and watch them grow in suspence opened my eyes to the simple joys of  life again. I think life might be more fun sometimes if things don't alwayswork out as we plan.

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