End Times, Beginning Times

It is the end times for the tomatoes. A week or two and they will be all gone. The next Sungolds I pop in my mouth, I need to close my eyes so I can remember all winter long how sweet they taste. These are too good to take to market. Since I can’t buy anything like them, I want to savor each one. It’s a sad truth for those who like to buy produce at Farmers Markets, the best produce the farmers keep for themselves.

It’s the end times for Claire and her ducklings. At times she looks ready to be with the other chickens. Each night I keep debating whether to take her back. When I do it will be a new beginning for the ducklings, on their own, and caretakers of the garden, doing their part to banish slugs forever. They are making their first timid forays out of the hoop house and into the garden. I am impressed with their fondness for all things slugs. There are none too small, none too big for them. I heard that ducks like slugs, but it wasn’t until I saw them slurp them down, that I understand the truth of that statement.

One of the weeds I am tossing into the compost pile has the most beautiful, delicate flowers. I’m pretty sure it is a weed, because the black berries that their seeds are turning into do not look like anything I planted this year. Though if those black berries are fruits with tiny seeds inside, I could be mistaken.

Daikon are worth growing just for their leaves. Not only are they pretty, they do wonders in a stir fry or in soups. You can also pickle them. They have enough fiber to flush your bowels clean as a whistle. A heaping plate of daikon greens, and you’ll be able to poop like a cow.

The end times are approaching for the sunflowers. Each time I see them, it’s like Van Gogh has taken his brush to the garden and gone mad, painting a splash of orange from here to there.

The treasure of spending a morning in the garden, is a bounty of produce for a hearty, fall soup. Soup so fine, it could only be served in fine china. I swear, no one for a hundred miles around, had a fine a lunch as we did this lovely, first day of October.

4 Replies to “End Times, Beginning Times”

  1. I told a 90-year-old friend about your duck experiment. She recalled that her mother used to put duck eggs under a chicken once in awhile. She said that the mama chicken would get so upset when the ducklings took to the pond and left her on the bank calling to them. I’m glad the ducklings are ridding your garden of slugs!

  2. Yes, I can see how that would be upsetting to a mother hen. Which is why I have the hen and ducklings away from the other chickens. The rest of the chickens have access to a pond, but the ducklings are too young to go into the pond. The don’t have their feathers yet and the oil gland which keeps them waterproof is not developed yet. If they had a mother duck, she would coat them with her oil and they could go swimming without any problems.
    We’ll make a small swimming pool for them in the garden in a few weeks.

  3. Just by rubbing against her, and sleeping underneath her, her oils will coat the ducklings. That weed I found does look like black nightshade. A bird must have brought the seeds. The plant rips out easily so next spring I’ll make sure it doesn’t take root.

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