Several times this week, I’ve found myself telling people that my garden is the one thing that has saved my sanity over that past few months. I think it’s true. I have had this one, large hobby with which to occupy a chunk of time. I have planned it, constructed the boxes, filled them with mountains of compost, mulch, and vermiculite, mixed, planted, spent hours at the nearby nurseries, removed pests by hand, thwarted others with forks, put up small fences, trained, pruned, weeded, and gotten dirty.

I have harvested several handfuls of green, purple, and yellow beans, about 6 zucchini, 4 cherry tomatoes, bunches of parsley and basil, a few strawberries, and one perfectly round and beautiful beet. The season is just beginning. Today, I realized I won’t have to go to the farmer’s market this week, since we have leftover chicken and sausage from last week, and I don’t need to be purchasing any vegetables for at least 3 months. My vegetables are better than the ones at the market, anyway. Neener neener.

I love my garden, and I’m proud of it. I don’t think it’s enough. I need more boxes, more vegetables. I’ve started trolling the rare seed websites for new things to plant, and I’m planning in my mind how I will grow my own seedlings for next year. I am especially obsessed with winter squashes. Here are some of the ones I want to grow (scroll over the photo for the name of each squash):

Are they not fantastic, and beautiful? How do I choose? Will the ones I don’t choose feel sad that they were rejected? Can I bribe my neighbors to plant some, and then have a neighborhood squash swap?