Focus on the Family

This is the memory I am trying to focus on today — an impromptu picnic dinner at the garden. We were enjoying our cold fried chicken, garden salad, cornbread, and slices of watermelon. It was a completely spur-of-the-moment decision, one made out of simply a lack of time to get both dinner and work at the garden done before dusk. We ate, and talked, and laughed, and I need to focus on those things now.

Because later, we found that our entire beloved garden plot, and our entire community’s garden like much of the Northeast US is infected with late blight, a plant disease for which there is no known cure. While I tried to wrap my brain around the concept that we will lose virtually every plant in our garden, that tomatoes are about to become extremely expensive this growing season, that the hours and hours and hours all of us spent weeding, watering, planting….. just the thought of it has me feeling completely devastated.
So we are all focusing on being grateful for our healthy family, a happy home, and (for today) this simple, last-minute, picnic.
What memory did you choose to focus on today?


  1. I'm so sorry about your garden. You must feel so frustrated! This has been such an oddly cool and wet summer, it hardly feels like summer. But your picnic looks perfect!

  2. Val in the Rose Garden says

    I am SO sorry Valerie! That is horrible. Last year was like that here. It was so wet and nasty. Nothing thrived. By the end of the season I was wondering why I had even done a garden at all. But even then I got 'something' out of my garden. {{{hugs}}} I am so sorry. I would be heartbroken.


  3. Night Owl Mama says

    Sorry about the Garden HUGS. LUV your picnic pictures you dd is so sweet

    Wanted to come let you know I'm offering 3 extra entry's on my giveaway if you leave a comment TODAY on this POST

    THANKS so much

  4. aprilfoolwed says

    Oh this is such bad news – I had overheard some avid gardeners in Macungie talking about this the other week, but I didn;t catch their full conversation. My garden seems to be doing fairly well at this point (aside from that white fungus that my squash gets EVERY year) – but I am considering just pulling my tomato plants BEFORE any signs, and hoping that the tons of melons I have growing stay healthy.

    So much for fresh garden tomatoes….

  5. Anonymous says

    Oh Valerie, I'm so sorry to hear this. How very frustrating. Gardening is so rewarding, but only after you see the fruits of many, many hours of labor. It looks like you all had a wonderful picnic though. Hugs to you all.

    Thank you again for the AWESOME-ly CUTE garden bags for the girls. Your giveway ROCKED.

    Reena, Maryhanna & Hollie

  6. Sharon and Michael says

    I'm terribly sorry. We're in SC and our tomatoes did okay this time. We grow ours from seds in our greenhouse. We've had a terrible time with squash plants this year here though.

  7. @ Ivy — Yes, very frustrating. I couldn't believe how fast it took over and destroyed everything. The day before we had picked some tomatoes and the garden looked great! Then overnight the entire thing changed…. 🙁 Thanks for your condolences here, I really appreciate it.

  8. @ Val in the Rose Garden — You have a great point… Even though this was such a blow, we did get "something" out of this whole experience, and we are very grateful for that. Thank you for the hugs, I really needed them!

  9. @ Night Owl Mama — Thanks for the condolences, and your kind words. I'm off to check out the giveaway… Thanks for the heads-up!

  10. @ aprilfoolwed –Isn't it so sad?? Organic gardeners are left with very few options to try to prevent late blight, and once the plants show signs of it, it is too late. And what's up with that fungus that gets the squash? We noticed it on our pumpkins. Blecchh!

  11. Oh my goodness… I am sorry to hear about the garden. Your picnic looks wonderful and I'm glad you and your family had something wonderful to focus on.

  12. I've heard rumors of that disease too. So sorry to hear your garden is suffering from it!

  13. ONe PiNK FiSH says

    sorry about the garden. to put so much time and love into something and lose it so abruptly, so hard.

  14. Stephanie Griffith says

    What a bummer about your garden! That is terrible! I'm glad you had a nice picnic though. There's nothing like cold fried chicken eaten outdoors.

  15. Angie @ Just Like The Number says

    I'm a little behind in commenting here, but I wanted tell you I'm sorry about your garden as well. I'd never heard of such a thing. I do know that we get very attached to those little seeds and plants, though. I check mine every day, sometimes twice a day, to see how they've grown. Wish I could send a few tomatoes and cucumbers your way.

  16. Lenetta @ Nettacow says

    I have a blog friend in Michigan that runs a farmer's market sort of stand (but all by themselves!) and I asked her to post some info that they sent out in their newsletter last year on the blight. You can read it here. I also recently read an article at Kitchen Stewardship about planting tomatoes and found it very interesting – plus more in the comments. It's here. Not sure if you decided to garden again this year or not – mine is up and doing well, but the thunderstorms are sure trying to knock it down! We had almost 3.5" of rain last night and a LOT of wind – and probably more to come tonight and tomorrow night. I'm just glad we decided to not go camping!