You’d think vegetable growing only got easier with experience. That turns out not to be true, especially in a year when Nature is fickle and intemperate, or at least can be accused of bad timing. A cold June, then summer travels coinciding with July’s heat, and here in the waning days of August we’re coping with stunted pumpkin vines, bolted beets, sprawling tomatillos, and an eighteen- pound zucchini. No time left to make amends, and one hell of a lot of squash bread to bake.

It’s looking like we may not get a single tomato this year. Ah, the hard realities of late August.

Which is just how it goes, I guess, and if vegetable growing offers anything resembling a take-home point, it’s that you have to practice letting go. Me, I’m not quite there yet. I can’t help it — I’m feeling wistful for an abundant garden that feeds the whole family, especially with a baby who’s eating most everything homegrown these days, including chard, cucumbers, green beans, even beets.

Good thing she enjoys zucchini muffins, too.