I wasn't thinking when I decided to put the trellis along the outer edge of a bed. The peas are easy to harvest from that side, but if I want to reach the ones that hang enticingly at the centre of the trellis on the inside, and I do, I have to teeter on the wooden frame of the raised bed, stretch over two or three feet, steady myself with one hand along the trellis frame, and then try to pick each of those peas -- which are clearly the very best of the lot -- with only one hand. A weird new yoga pose. Although you really do need two hands to pick snap peas. So it's far better if you can do it while standing well-balanced on the earth on your two feet. I'd be standing on chard if I tried that. It's what you could call a design flaw.
This western side of the island has such high winds that the trellises blew over during the garden's first summer. We lost the last of the peas that year. After that Greg sank the posts into concrete to keep them upright through the whole season. So where they are is where they will be: what you could call a permanent design flaw.
I'm bringing all sorts of things into the house these days besides the peas: huge baskets of collards and turnip greens, chard, kale, curly lime-coloured mustard, great piles of lettuce. I can vaguely remember all the work that went into this year's garden -- the raised beds, the winter seaweed, the spring digging, the compost. But the pea trellis is not the only design flaw. Some of the raised beds are too wide. It's a big stretch to reach into the middle to cut greens or pull weeds. My early miscalculations put me in awkward positions every day.
But there are essential elements that have nothing to do with either how hard I've worked or how many mistakes I've made: the balance of sun and rain, the pace at which summer has unfolded here on the island, the warmth of the season. Except for the watering, I have little power over any of that. So when I'm picking the peas or cutting the collards my basic position is amazed.