My region of Maine is terrible for farming. Centuries after it was first tilled, the earth still exudes boulders. The topsoil is thin and acid, root-ridden and ledge-bound. Dirt can be easier to dig with a pick than with a spade. Killing winters and heavy tree cover hamstring the growing season.
But every spring I plant. So far I've put in radishes, red lettuce, arugula, early beets, chervil, cilantro, shell peas, leeks, shallots, scallions, kohlrabi, dill, carrots, and pansies. I've pruned roses and grapes and tidied up the perennial herb beds. Already I've harvested sorrel and lovage and chives and dandelion greens. Soon the nettles will be large enough to cut, and fiddleheads will spring up along the snowmelt stream.
Last night Tom lit the inaugural flame in our outdoor firepit. Bundled in sweaters and jackets, we sat next to it, drinking beer and playing cribbage, laughing at Ruckus and Anna cavorting in the gloaming, listening to the peepers and the bullfrogs, watching the bats fly overhead. The evening sky was a deep blue, like wet ink soaking through paper, a sky of the sort that William Blake might paint.
I live on such a beautiful, awkward, lonely, tedious, glorious patch of earth.