Wednesday, November 7, 2012


They grew tall and gangly. Exuberant from the early days of summer they threatened to shade out more "desirable" plants in our small city garden. I was gone for most of the summer and by the time ideas back on August was too late to cut things back. I kept a reluctant eye on a garden that seemed to have run amok.

Summer turned to fall as the days got shorter and light seemed to disappear from the narrow space that is our garden. One plant kept growing.

In late September they started blooming. Our 10-12 foot tall Jerusalem artichokes caught the light high above the shrubs and bulbs long spent. Their perky yellow heads kept coming high up, almost to the second floor of our houses, a kind of aerial garden.

Sandy came with lashing winds and the last of the Jerusalem artichokes lay in a pile waiting for the yard waste bag. Just a few days ago all that was left was the cut off stems, place markers for my fall "farming."

When things dried up I went out with a stout shovel and started digging. The sandy berm I built and planted with Helianthus tuberosus was chock full of underground tubers. Ready for salads, soups, or roasted vegetables. But biologically speaking, ready to start up again in spring.

The wonderful thing about gardening is having a chance to observe the plants close up. What an amazing thing to see the beginnings of next year's regeneration fast and snug in the soil.

I'm writing this first thing in the morning after the election. I am so buoyed by the results. Lies and calumny and selfishness didn't win. The American people somehow saw through the thicket and voted to regenerate our society. There are so many issues that need to be addressed and now with a continued mandate we can hope that the president, our legislators, and the judicial can make progress toward a more just and fair society.

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