It’s hard to believe another year has passed. When I was a child, I couldn’t wait for time to fly by. I was always anxious for Christmas to come, for summer recess to arrive, to get my Learner’s Permit and start driving, and so on. Now that I am older, I find I am in less and less of a hurry for time to pass. I’d like to stop and savor more of my favorite moments, but time keeps relentlessly marching on!
At any rate, 2009 was a wonderful year, full of the usual ups and downs, but overall a great year. I’ve enjoyed good health and a dry roof over my head, and for both I am grateful. I have a wonderful wife, and I’m thankful for all we share together. Our vegetable garden produced abundantly, thanks in part to ample and timely rains. And I’ve been able to spend a lot of my time doing things I enjoy, like gardening. I’ve also enjoyed volunteering once a week at a local Hot Meals program. I get a lot of satisfaction from working there, and I know my help is appreciated. The folks who volunteer there are a great group of people, and it is rapidly becoming like a home away from home for me.
I also enjoyed working on our Master Gardener Victory Garden project. Every year, we grow vegetables on a 1/3 acre plot and donate everything to the local food bank. We started this project in 2005, and since then we’ve grown our harvests from around 3000 pounds annually in the first years to over 8000 pounds in 2009, mostly due to soil improvement, succession planting and other cultural practices. I know that’s just a drop in the bucket in the larger scheme of things, but I also know many folks have gotten to enjoy eating fresh vegetables they might not otherwise have eaten. I think about that every time I harvest a tomato there, or a head of cabbage. A fellow MG and I grow most of the seedling plants, and a small army of volunteers help with the planting, mulching, weeding and harvesting.
How lucky I am to be able to donate my time and talents doing things I love doing like growing vegetables and cooking for others!
Next year I am looking forward to doing more of the same, with a few new projects thrown in. My wife and I have volunteered to be webmasters for our new MG website – a project that has been long overdue in my opinion. We are also hoping to plant a new perennial/shade border behind our house. We have a large Japanese maple that was planted too close to the foundation by previous owners, and we would like to move it and give it a featured spot in the new garden. Of course we want to add some new plants there as well, such as oak leaf hydrangea, maybe a Viburnum, and more hostas (aka deer lettuce). So many projects and so little time!
We also want to be a little more self-sufficient and try some new things for 2010, like baking more of our bread, and making our own soap. We even want to try our hand at cheese making. That sounds like fun to me – I can make a big mess and then clean up with our own soap!
I wish everyone out there a happy, healthy and blessed 2010.