A bundle of hanging oregano graces my luandry room.

A bundle of hanging oregano graces my laundry room.

Summer has finally come to New Jersey, which means it is not getting Hot and Humid, a combination that does not suit my physical composition well. At this time of year I find excuses to avoid yard work and any other outdoor physical activity, which leads to my garden going a bit wild and weedy, though still very productive, and my physical fitness going to pot.

This year I am going to challenge myself to spend a minimum of 30 minutes each morning working in the garden/yard (as long as it’s not raining), and to walk, run, or bike the kids to the playground in the park after lunch. I will not sit on my tush inside in the comfy cool air all day long.

I started out with a test run yesterday, spending about 30 minutes clearing wisteria and volunteer morning glory vines from the roses on the west side of the porch. I don’t think I actually did a full 30 minutes of work, but this was because a neighbor who saw me out and about stopped by to chat. I’ve been chatting with this lady for years, usually about our dogs, but this was the first time I learned that she is an editor by trade (now looking for work), and we talked about the possibility of having her edit and proof the manuscript of Hubby’s latest novel. I do not consider time spent building a relationship with a neighbor time wasted, so I’m going to call yesterday’s test a success.

Today I decided to dedicate the time to clearing all the crab grass from the vegetable garden as well as securing the tomatoes more securely to their trellises. I look at weeding the veggie patch as a meditation, and I am careful only to remove those plants which are bonafide weeds (usually crab grass, grass, and oxalis) leaving behind all edible volunteers. This year’s volunteers include lots of dill and tomatoes, as well as a few kale sprouting late from last year’s sowing.

I noticed this morning that I’ve got a lot of vacant space on one side of the garden where somebody ate my watermelon and okra seedlings, so I’m going to start looking for some things to plant there for a fall harvest. I also noticed that the oregano was getting bushy, so I harvested a bunch of branched and hung them in the kitchen to dry in my first attempt at saving herbs for winter use. If it does not work out, at least I can enjoy the pretty hanging bundle int he kitchen as decor for a while!

Since the first two days went well and left me feeling exhilarated, I am going to pledge to spend 30 minutes tending the garden daily for the next month. I will report here as I go, and I encourage you to nag me if I appear to have fallen off the wagon and gone back to hiding in the air conditioned house.