It's been a good year in our garden. I say this with some hesitation, because some things have been less successful than in years past. Raspberries, eggplants and peppers have been noticeably fewer. Tomatoes, sour cherries and cucumbers, on the other hand, have been bounteous, to the point where I've considered playing doorbell-ditchums with the cukes. String beans, meanwhile, have been middling.
I suppose my Grandma and Grandpa Finnegan must have felt the same ambivalence about the varying fortunes on their ranch in Montana. My grandpa was a restless person who, because of deteriorating health, ended up spending the last thirty years of his life in one spot. Grandma said whenever they had a down year on the ranch he would talk about moving to Oregon, where you could stick anything in the ground any time of the year and it would grow. I imagine a good part of his suffering was due to seeing the grass growing greener everywhere but his own fields.
That's the problem with comparisons of any kind. Everything changes. Always has. Always will. Best to accept it. Eat what grows best this season. We've enjoyed every raspberry, eggplant and pepper we've picked. Though we don't have a peach tree in our yard, this year's crop of Western slope peaches have been everything a peach can promise. You know how some peaches look great, all plump with that perfect peach blush, only when you bite into them, they're disappointingly pasty? This year's crop tastes as good as it looks. After a few down years on the tomato front, it's been great to have more than our fair share. I've dried a lot of cherries I'll include in my oatmeal, and I've frozen enough of them to make a cherry pie in the dead of winter.
I still wish we had more eggplants this year. I love baba ganouj and mousakka. There's always next year.