Like every Kansan does each year* Manny and I planted a booming garden this spring. We tore up the grass, posted the fence to keep out neighborhood dogs (and maybe deer), and planted our little baby plants into the ground. There are tomatoes, cucumbers, and more peppers than you could shake two sticks at. Assuming everything grows as planned, which means no hailstorms or ground-touching tornadoes, we should have a heck of a stock. Salsa, pickles, tomato sauce, jellies, and more jack ‘o lanterns than we can carve.
As Cork Head puts it, it’s like we’re pioneer people, but with the Internet. (Though to be fair, service is pretty spotty in the cellar.)
To date, the little plants have oct-ulped in size. Nearly half need a growing prop, and some are even outmaneuvering that setup. It’s a flowering, tomato-growing, strawberry-putting-on, leafing, green metropolis out there. Sadly, we had to say goodbye to a stepped-on okra plant and several hops, which were planted tall-ways when they should have gone in horizontally.
All My Pants are Muddy
The thing about an enormous garden is that it’s a ton of work. The weeds (grass) are growing in faster than I can pluck them. I’ve got muddy pants, dirt under my nails, and a distaste for any tree sapling – a fact my third-grade self would have gasped at. With all this free rain anything unwanted is growing at twice the rate of my actual plants. Like a crop of photosynthesizing parasites.
And while I grew up with a garden each summer, albeit a much smaller one, I’m still learning the veggie-growing ropes. (Yes, they are vegetables, I don’t want to hear that “if the seed’s on the inside, it’s a fruit” crap.) I’m learning which plants need the most water, who needs pruned and how often, and what bugs are eating holes in my future salad contents.
Maybe by the end of growing season, with my newly gained wisdom, I’ll have vastly increased this operation. As if each pulled weed offered a nugget of plant knowledge, the more grass I uproot, the greener my thumbs will become – both literally and figuratively. Here’s to the rest of the summer – a cellar full of veggies and a yard full of garden.
*Most Kansans don’t have gardens, though last summer when explaining canning to some East Coastians, we were laughed at – a little too hard – after saying, “Most people don’t do it, but we do.”