Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Illegal Vegetables

August 28, 2008

So did you hear this story about two girls, ages 11 and 3, who got busted for selling veggies from their family’s garden at a roadside stand? In the San Francisco Bay area, no less. Apparently this is illegal, as are lemonade stands and yard sales, and the mayor of their town is a humorless dope who is unable, or unwilling, to see the absurdity of the situation.

The real issue, it turns out, is that the neighbor who turned them in can’t stand the fact that the family has replaced their lawn with a large vegetable garden. He feels, and I quote, that he “should not have to look at that.” Heaven help us.

What is wrong with people? Are they so addicted to conformity that they can’t tolerate an approach to the outdoors that is different from their own? Are the so divorced from their food sources that even the sight of other people growing their own food is offensive? Are they so small-minded and malicious that they have to take their anger out on a couple of kids?

Apparently so.

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Bugs

August 8, 2008

Why do they hate us?

They don’t, of course. Like everything else on the planet, they’re just trying to survive. Still and all, when they show up in hordes and decimate an entire summer’s worth of work seemingly overnight, it’s hard to be magnanimous.

My solution: chickens. Since I started letting them into the vegetable garden, I haven’t seen a hornworm, aphid, or stinkbug anywhere.

My new problem: chickens like tender greens almost as much as they like bugs. Hmm.

In the Beginning

August 4, 2008

Midsummer may seem like a strange time to begin a gardening blog, but it’s about this time every year that the garden honeymoon which began with the midwinter seed catalogs starts to wear just a little bit thin. My guess is that I’m not alone in this sentiment. I love my garden, I really do, but every year right around this time I’m just the teensiest bit frustrated by too much rain, or too little rain, or an inexplicable crop failure, or an overnight Japanese beetle infestation. The fall gardening magazines arrive and my frustration grows as I compare my beloved, dusty, beetle-chewed garden to the glossy photographs of ‘Autumn Joy’ Sedum paired perfectly with charmingly faded Rudbeckia and three other plants I’ve never even heard of.

And so this blog was conceived as a figurative shot in the arm for the real gardener. The real gardener is lucky to get one perfect pairing a year. The real gardener knows both the crushing realization that a prized plant did not make it through the winter and the exhilarating realization that another one did.  The real gardener is usually dirty. The real gardener does not pay someone else to garden for her.

So for anyone who’s experienced feelings of frustration, or inadequecy, or perhaps rage when confronted with perfect magazine gardens, we’re here to tell you that you are not alone. Stick around! We’re going to have fun.