Thursday, July 06, 2006

Beware The Madness

Well, the madness has struck again. Every few years I get this inane idea that I can manage a small garden - you know, in my spare time. After all, with only 6 children, I'm sitting around twiddling my thumbs a lot. I've read my square-foot gardening book (new and improved), I'm next in line (finally) for one of those organic gardening plots down the road from my house, I've got 6 hungry children to feed. I can do it! Think Victory gardens, think Little House on the Prairie, think about anything but the fact that every other time we've tried this, we've suffered abysmal failures (not to mention that I seem to wind up pregnant each summer we're responsible for one of those plots). This will be the year that we troop down the road, a merry little band of fresh-faced children with their indefatigable(?) matriarch, to pick green beans and lettuce and tomatoes and bring it all home for our supper. Never mind that year that the vine-borers destroyed our promising pumpkin crop and made the children cry. Forget about the watermelon patch that yielded one precious melon which rotted because I didn't have the sense to pick it in time. Totally disregard the fact that by August the mosquitoes get so bad no one dares go near the garden for fear of being eaten alive.

Larry is being amazingly tactful about this plan, considering my record of gardening failures. He seems to accept that this bout of mania needs to run its course before we can get back to living our lives sans horticulture. I don't think he really wanted to spend his day off spreading a weed barrier over our newly acquired garden plot and sawing and hammering wood in the 95-degree heat to construct the garden boxes for me. He probably didn't enjoy hauling the bales of peat moss and bags of planting mix out there either. But he did it. That man has what it takes to stay married, I'll tell you.

And did I mention our compost pile? Recycling at its best. Just throw in all those carrot peels and celery leaves and whatever else; and, with any luck at all, it won't all just sit there and rot the way it has all the other times I've tried this. Anyway, the children are very enthusiastic about the entire enterprise; well, except Anna, who is only too happy to stay home and watch the baby rather than help weed. Works for me, works for her.

Results? Well, so far we have 4 basil plants, 1 parsley plant, and 1 cilantro (all purchased elsewhere) growing happily. It's been a whole 2 days and they're not even dead yet. Pretty good, huh? Maybe if I succeed, we'll all be eating more healthily and we can avoid being sick all the time. Although we haven't been doing too badly lately. I mean, aside from that unfortunate vomiting incident of Rachel's on our not-so-glorious 4th, I think it has been almost 2 weeks since one of us was laid low with any mysterious ailments. And Rachel didn't really need to go see those fireworks anyway.

Well, I've got to go mulch (whatever that is).

Regards,

the Hapless Gardener

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