The slings of summer storms

I know I’m not the only gardener in Hamilton County feeling sad about Monday’s storm, but, oh, my garden was looking so good before that mean storm hit a week ago. Now all the foliage is tattered and broken. The tall green tops of my rows of onions are now all bent over, the green bean plants look like they have been beaten, and even the zinnias I planted along the edges have taken a pretty serious whipping from Mother Nature.

Now, while I’m certainly not Ms. Earl May, my garden was taking shape nicely so far this season. Already I had spent considerable time there-especially to keep the weeds somewhat under control, setting the tomato cages, dusting leaves when they were getting chewed by some insect, and just generally encouraging everyone to do their part to grow me plenty of tasty vegetables this season.

Now it looks like that will be a struggle for the poor damaged plants. They will need time to recover from the trauma of hail and buckets of rain. And maybe they just won’t have enough energy to do that and to produce vegetables, as well. It Looks like I will have to wait and watch, be patient, and perhaps say a prayer or two.

With this situation I have a peek into what a farmer must feel like when his crops that appeared so lush are damaged by the weather. Only his kick in the belly has much more of an effect than mine does. This is his livelihood, after all. Plus he has acres and fields, while I have one mere garden plot.

And having my garden damaged by hail is a mere inconvenience compared to what something like this would have meant to gardeners several generations back when gardens were meant to feed a family summer and winter. In most cases then, a garden wasn’t merely a pleasant hobby; it was something of a necessity in order to feed the family. I don’t remember that was the case at my house as I grew up, although my mom always had a garden. She froze and canned some vegetables. I do remember she was not pleased the time a church committee met at our house. Some of the boys got into the garden and threw ripe tomatoes at the side of the house.

I’d been looking forward to a nice gardening season, especially after last summer’s drought. And yet I find it rather reassuring that even with all of our high tech planning and predicting, radar and warnings, sirens and scans, we can’t really change what God and Mother Nature have in mind. Sometimes we just have to deal with it.