Sunday, June 14, 2009

Greenish Thumb

I probably could learn a lot about faith, hope, and optimism from our first attempt at planting a vegetable garden. This is, after all, the stuff of parables and children's stories: plant a seed, nourish it, believe in it, and watch it grow and even bear fruit. Amazing!

I, for one, don't buy it. You're telling me that Kendall and I toss some little specks of genetic material into some dirt, add water, and in three months we'll be able to walk out to the garden, pour some honey mustard dressing on it, and have a salad? Naaah. So many things can go wrong--deer can come eat the leaves off the eggplants (check), a toddler could pull up the peppers (check), a caretaker could forget to water (inevitable), the seeds could have been accidentally exposed to excessive amounts of radiation if the farmer happened to have those seeds with him during his cat scan.

I prefer to remain skeptical. That way, if there's a single tomato on those sickly vines, the garden will have exceeded my expectations. My (surviving) houseplants are skeptical too. I thought I could hear them yelling from their perch at the kitchen window as Kendall and I watered our newly-planted seeds: "Don't germinate! Stay in your little shells! They're monsters. They'll kill you!"


  1. I'm glad it's not only me who sees metaphors and lessons aplenty in the garden. When I had to thin my plants, I thought of stem cell embryos being discarded. When I see that the new growth on my basil plants is always at the top (instead of lower, easier, closer to the source and the ground) -- where it takes more energy to push it all up there, I think of working on the "top stuff."

    The other day I was thinking of perennials v. annuals and how annuals are often more colorful and showier, and their blooms last all summer, whereas perennials (like lilacs and tulips) bloom furiously and gorgeously for a couple weeks, and then the blooms fall and the plants complete the life-cycle (being relatively dormant for three seasons) until they bloom again. And the annuals that were shallowly pretty all season? They die, never to come back.

  2. Ha! Love the post! We're attempting a small garden as well- will see how it goes!!

  3. Looks like you went with the square foot gardening method, good for you, you may not reap a lot this year but every year will get better as you get into it. Trust me my first 3 attempts ended up with nothing but dead plants, I forgot to water them, this year my tomatoes got a really bad fungus but now they're doing well, I should be swimming in them in a few weeks, since the season starts early here in VA. Hang in there vegetables from your own garden taste better and have almost twice the nutrients from store bought.

  4. i'm crushed. alma 32 has always been my favorite. the lifeline i hang onto. what am i to do now...

  5. Sounds yummy if it works! I'm with you--I prefer to be skeptical and therefor pleasantly (very much so) surprised if something actually grows and produces. Best of luck! Did all your peppers get pulled? I hope not!