Hollow Harvest

Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra)

The hickories are heavy with their nuts at the edge of the meadow. Queen Anne’s Lace, Black-Eyed-Susan, Yarrow, Butterfly Weed, and Switch Grass spangle the sunny spots of our little swath.

All you need for a meadow is a properly mowed grassland and a path.  Even though we have invasives like native yellow wingstem (Verbesina alternifolia) and Asian garlic mustard, a bit of Ailanthus and multiflora rose, the ecosystem seems to be holding its own ever since we started bush-hogging each spring in February/March, before the deer start making nests and after last year’s seeds have been well-scattered.

Even the bad gardener gets a handful – of blueberries, tomatoes, and flowers. We’ve been fighting the vegetable garden all summer long (that’s the “Royal We”; I merely supervise), but what with health issues, family visitations, flooding, and other vicissitudes of life, we are going into late summer somewhat weeded with compost and straw spread, and tomatoes ripening, thanks to that fellow who works in the yard.

The undeserved grace of God falls on all of us, and I think of this every time I pluck the hardy sorrel, basil, roses, and the rest that manage to grow out in the garden in our own despite.

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