Monday, September 24, 2012

Treasure Hunting

 My mental health is recovering slowly than my impatient side would like too. But it is a positive thing and something I should be grateful that I did not seem at the moment succumbing to postnatal depression while I am having mental depression and trying to overcome it.  Some days are good that I wake up and feel motivated instead of lying on the bed and not looking forward to anything. Its still a fragile thing and could be a false feeling so I am taking tentative baby steps not to be overdoing myself with too much planning or multitasking. There is still many unsettled things which worries me so I need to remind myself to not set unrealistic goal or dealing with high expectation. Sigh, one step at a time. I need to learn how to enjoy doing one thing at a time instead of doing so many things at once. For example, on my good days I can cook while washing dishes, clean the counter top, laundry and I can also do some weeding or sowing seeds in between waiting for the dish to cook or stirring. But my husband he does one task at a time even though he have some breaks in between. It is no wonder I make myself crazy while doing tasks at hand my brain also seems to be planning what to do ahead running into different direction planning non-stop, can't control and it goes chaotic. It made me think that I have some kind of mental disorder. I struggle to focus on one thing at a time. Physically I feel much better and more energetic after postnatal birth from last week. I am urged and advise to go out and socialise a bit to prevent me being isolated and fall to depression by professional help. Yet, I don't feel like going out at all. The only place I will go out to is the garden. Since I feel physically better now, we have been clearing up the garden bits by bits and found lots of treasures or basically free food last week. 
 A small spot in the garden was sprawled with autumn self-seeded tomato plants overlapping each other. These tomato plants flower during winter but I don't think with the cold temperature it will set fruit. However, after I made an effort to stake these tomato plant last weekend and gave some pruning found some ripened tomatoes and there are already producing fruits. I guess the warming temperature has able those flowers to set fruit. One of the plants has actually grown more than 5 feet tall when I pull it upright and tied it on the emergency support. I was not sure how many tomato plants before and now it is 3 tomato plants on that spot. Some of the cape gooseberries fruits has also matured and drop to the weeds underneath hiding these golden fruits. If my boys are here with me, I don't think mama and papa will have their fair share of these delicious golden fruits. I think they would certainly enjoy these golden 'berries' very much. I did not realised how many self-seeded tall red celery have grown among our backyard container gardens in between other plants and they sure have grown. The celery stalk surprisingly juicy when relying on rain water only. We also harvested some peas and broccoli shoots last week. We harvested all of our Early Horn carrots last week grown in container.
 Here is half of the patch in front of the kitchen window that I have cleared on the weekend. Everything on this patch are self-seeded plants except for 2 foxglove plant which has been completely   hidden. Most of these volunteers are celery and chervil.
Celery from the patch above.
I remembered we had several self-sprouted potato plant on the front yard in different places. However with weed competition and pest attacking the plant many plants got lost while they were growing around 20cm tall. Last weekend while my husband cleared up the front yard and pulling out all the weeds he found several small sizes of potatoes from the potatoes that perished early and lost in sight. Surprisingly, one self-sprouted Royal Blue potato that got lost under sunflower and rose geranium plant has produced decent harvest. The Royal Blue potato plant was not there anymore but somehow I remembered there was a potato plant growing on that spot. So lucky we blindly dug around that area an hit a jackpot.
We are blessed with many volunteer rainbow chards plants  last autumn and this spring I found several new seedlings as well while clearing up and left them undisturbed. Hopefully these seedlings will provide us harvest during summer. Summer month is actually the season which we don't really have much to harvest compared to other season. Lettuce are also plenty still to pick around the garden. But it will be time to say goodbye to lettuce by next month if I don't sow a new batch of lettuce this week.
We also harvested some florence fennels, beetroots, top purple turnips and kohlrabi this week.
There are still many spots to clear up.


Sue Garrett said...

Multi-tasking does tend to be a female thing! Two things at once OK but the number you do at once is staggering. Spend as much time as you can in your garden as it is really renowned for its positive effect on mental health.

Enchanted Moments said...

Fantastic to just go out and clear up the patches and find all that lovely vegetable treasure....I have found in tough times when all things seemed a chore with no motivation and a sad heart , that the garden and just 'being' in it heals your soul and calms your mind....hoping you can get outside and sit in the sunshine we are having and just feel the 'calm'...x Suzanne

kitsapFG said...

Amazing amounts of self seeded and volunteer plants you found! Your garden is determined to grow with or without your help. :D

I am glad you are feeling fairly good and seem to be managing post natal depression onset very well. Lots of time outside in sunshine is always a good thing and sounds like just the ticket for you. Take care of yourself.

rainfield61 said...

A great woman you are.

A great mother you are.

A great gardener you are.


Daphne Gould said...

Beautiful harvest. And I love harvests from self seeded plants. For me that is mainly dill and cilantro, but this year I got some lettuce too. Amazingly enough I did get a pepper plant that had little peppers on it by the time I yanked it up. Since I can't eat peppers I didn't think it was worth leaving in the garden. But it was happy in the middle of the bush beans.

I tend to multitask too. It just happens. But then if I'm not careful I'll forget about what I'm cooking and burn it. I never go outside while cooking. For me that is a recipe for disaster. I can so easily forget my original task and stay out in the garden for an hour. But some days it is good to slow down and not do all that. Just enjoy stirring the pot and smelling the food cooking.

Norma Chang said...

I too find gardening to be very therapeutic, and garden chores very soothing. Hope you continue to mend. We are so used to multi tasking that it is difficult for us to do otherwise. Glad you are now enjoying doing one thing at a time instead of doing many things at once, this will help with the healing.
Great harvest. My volunteers are doing better than what I actually planted, go figure.

Mark Willis said...

I can see your enthusiasm gor gardening is returning, Diana. I'm glad you are making progess. BTW multi-tasking is not an exclusively female thing. I can quite happily do some gardening while a pot of soup is simmering in the kitchen, whilst taking photos of both!

Michelle said...

It's amazing what you found on your treasure hunt. The celery is especially pretty, but everything looks great.

I'm not a good multi-tasker, I'm more of a one track, one task at a time kind of person unless it involves something that I can do on auto-pilot. It may not be very efficient but I don't make as much of a mess of things as when I try to tackle too many things at once.

I hope you get through the depression soon.

Kelli said...

What beautiful veggies you have, always so nice to see. Hope you are feeling better soon. Take care.

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

All that goodness in your garden. You are certainly finding things to be cheery about.

africanaussie said...

wow you certainly have lots of healthy vegetables in your garden. They must be very good for you, and I am sure getting out into the fresh air and gardening will make you feel better. I pray that you will soon be feeling much more positive about life.

Mac said...

Beautiful self seeded harvests, Hope you feel better soon, gardening is very therapuetic whenever you feel a bit down.

Jenny Rottinger said...

Beautiful harvest, especially for the volunteer varieties.

lena said...

happy to know that your health is improving. i tend to do few things too at one time but sometimes it's just too tiring at the end of the day. I think we really ought to take things slowly:)

Bee Girl said...

Sometimes the best steps are the small ones! Just keep taking care of yourself and doing what you need to do for you!

Your garden is beautiful and your veggies look delicious! Congratulations!

kitchen flavours said...

Love all your harvest, Diana! Everything is looking good! And I always multi-task, I guess that it is natural for the mothers in us, there are lots to do and we constantly have this feeling of getting them done asap. Relax and have a cup of tea in between breaks. Especially now that you need your complete rest, take it easy. Enjoy one day at a time, think about the positive things that would bring a smile. Hope you are feeling much better today. Have a lovely day, Diana.

Liz said...

A fabulous array of food Diana.
I'm glad the depression seems to be improving. I find that when I muilti task too much I end up making a mess of either one task or both which leaves more frustrated than leaving one of the things undone. Sometimes I think the hardest part of being a mother is accepting that there are a multitude of things that will remain not done at any given time.

littlekarstar said...

I'd love to give you a huge hug. You are pretty amazing you know...and your garden is really fabulous especially given how much space you actually have. Keep your chin up and sit in the sunshine as much as you can soak up that goodness and get your vitamin D levels up


Unknown said...

Thats so encouraging and rewarding. I hope you reap more hidden treasures in your garden.

Hope your health improves steadily.

cookingvarieties said...

hi diana and how are you? I am back to blogging, after my parents health are better and my net connection rectified..
your royal blue potatoes looks so appetizing. for veggies to self grow and with no watering is amazing and they look healthy too.
i am glad you are much better now, take good care of your health dear and have a nice day.

Mama Pongkey said...

Your harvest is beautiful! Always inspires me to have more variety in my own humble veggie patch. I caught a cat trying to dug up some radishes that are growing, a big no-no from me!

Take care dear. It may seem a bit odd to try doing one thing at a time but you will surely get the hang of it. Just be there in the moment. Yes I need to take my own advice too *wink wink*

By the way, do celery and chervil cross-pollinate?

AnywhereEden said...

Doing too many things at once seems to be pretty common among the women I know, including myself. I don't think it's a sign of mental disorder. ;) Maybe it will help to set a "work schedule" for yourself. Set a time in the day at which you will put down your work items and not worry about them, and set a day or two that will be your weekend, no work on those days. I know I have a hard time not cycling through all of my to-dos constantly even on days I can't do anything about them, it's important to give your brain some down time though so you can rest and relax and enjoy your family with no chores on your mind.

Wendy said...

just gorgeous!

petite nyonya said...

your green thumb never fails to amaze me! i am always so inspired when i visit yr blog :))

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Sue~ Yes I am trying not to do too much multitasking need to restrain myself making me dizzy.

Suzanne~Yes spending some time in the garden does help the process of healing much faster. The garden does produce so much magic and good for the soul.

KitsapFG~I have postnatal depression earlier during pregnancy but I am glad that I know what is happening with my mental health before Abby was born. Abby helping her mother to heal faster. I feel more like my usual self each week now and more energize.

Rainfield61~An ordinary woman going some kind of phase in life. There is up and there is down :).

Daphne~I was hoping for self-seeded dill and cilantro but alas none. Self-seeded strongly in our garden is amaranth, chervil and celery. Nasturtium self-seeded for us each season. It is easily distracted doing gardening while cooking.

Norma~Its a wonder isn't it that volunteer does better than the one we planted, same here. Trying to learn 'mindfullness' enjoying the task at hand or moment.

Mark~I am giving my husband a hint to do a little bit of multitasking. He is trying too but struggling. He has one track of mind.

Michelle~I was amazed how many celery self-seeded this year all over the garden. Thank you dear.

Kelli~I like arranging them for photoshot.

GoSS~I am grateful the garden always bring and give happiness.

Africanaussie~With the warm weather during the day now, we can spend more time in the garden.

Mac~I like free food from the garden and self-seeded plant does not need much care.

Jenny~The volunteer grow much better than the ones we planted.

Lena~Yeah it has been such a rush these last 3 years. Now I am taking a breather and take things slowly.

Bee Girl~I stop planning ahead what I want to do in one day. Just taking small step. I am just grateful I can complete do more than 2 different small task in a day.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Joyce~I should take a tea break and enjoy our chamomile bloom while it last :).

Liz~Mother work never done, you are right.Spring with mild weather and lots of sun seems to help lift up the spirit a lot.

The Bok Flock~Yeah I need heaps of vitamin D especially now with breastfeeding. The sunshine does make the mood better. Hugs.

Sri Ranjani~There is always some treasures and new experience to obtain in the garden :).

Cookingvarieties~Welcome back :). The garden has been good to us.

Mama Pongkey~Your cat must be very curious how the radish taste like. Chervil and celery does not cross-pollinate. They have different seed shape and in taxanomy different genus and species.

AnywhereEden~I hope I can balance well between work and family. The kids are growing so fast and I wish I can spend more time with them.

Wendy~Thanks. They don't look perfect but good enought to eat :).

Petite Nyonya~I learn a lot from your blog too and you have many new plants growing each time I visit.