One of the reasons I got in to gardening was that it’s reportedly a relaxing activity. Things go at the pace Mother Nature sets and trying to rush that or slow it down to suit your own timeline is pointless so, before long, you just let go. Or that’s how I visualised it and, in the beginning, the relaxing pace added to my love of gardening.

Then things started ripening. Then everything was ripe. Then too much of everything was ripe. The pressure to eat what’s ready is building daily.

Yesterday lunch was a great salad with an egg and the first tomato of the season (first for me, not first for the worms). A kohlrabi served on the side made a nice crunchy addition to the lunch menu. Yumm.

Beans & strawberries - a small portion of the daily harvest

Beans & strawberries – a small portion of the daily harvest

Dinner included the first gorgeous bush beans of the season (there are bushels full out there – how will they all get eaten?). Also part of my little potato harvest made it to the plate. And the day’s strawberry haul was dessert. I just couldn’t get to the celery, spinach, silverbeet, Asian greens… The broccoli I harvested before breakfast is now in my fridge. The herbs are taking over the neighbourhood. What am I going to do when those cucumbers ripen? Oh Lord, the sweet corn is about ready. I expect I’ll soon have nightmares about being crushed by vegetable. Aaaaagggghhh!

Relaxing my eye! Planting, weeding, watering, tending, watching and waiting are relaxing – the pressure to eat everything at it’s peak is anything but. Luckily I have friends and neighbours who are happy to help me deal with my stress by accepting bags full of goodies. Thank heaven for good neighbours. Now, time to get eating, maybe I can put some rocket on my breakfast cereal…


About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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12 Responses to STRESS

  1. Coop Poop says:

    It’s a good problem to have in the big scheme of things! It all looks delicious!!

  2. Hmmm, I don’t think I’m getting the right level of sympathy for the stress I’m dealing with right now. The Girl from Ipanema – seriously?

  3. Its great to grow all this stuff yourself. Freeze whatever you can, eat what you can and swop with friends and neighbours, and lastly there are always the chickens to eat up what you can’t.

    • Right now we have a small freezer as part of our fridge. If this kind of harvest continues, I might think about a large chest freezer. As for the chickens, they hover whenever I’m in the garden just hoping for some handouts. They’d definitely take any surplus – especially if I mix it with yoghurt!

  4. I am with you on the stress. Just add guilt about possibly wasting the fruit of your hard labour and I don’t even have nearly as much produce as you. I don’t waste but I do mutter sometimes when I am making my jam or compote :).

    • I don’t waste much but some radishes and kohlrabi are too tough to eat by the time I get to them (the chooks still love the leaves) and I certainly have lost some outer leaves of my lettuce as they dry out and wither or rot (depending on the weather). I’ve even lost a few strawberries (it brings tears to my eyes to think about it) if I skip a couple of days of picking – they just don’t have the same staying power of a broccoli. Luckily broccoli flowers are becoming fashionable!

  5. vuchickens says:

    It all looks and sounds amazing! Wish I was there to take some of it off your hands. I guess the surplus harvest in Summer used to be nature’s way of helping people not starve in the Winter. Back in the day before refrigerators, they had to can or dry all of the surplus produce to make it last all year. My kids and I LOVE dried strawberries. Not sure about canned or dried broccoli though. 🙂

  6. I’m sure my chickens would love canned and dried broccoli, but my tastes run more in line with your kids.

    Luckily in Sydney we don’t really have a dead season so there are things we can eat all year. Winter cauliflower replaces summer broccoli. So the need to store up isn’t as great but that doesn’t lessen the pressure not to waste.

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