Sunday, May 23, 2010

In other news, I've been writing away and attempting to get my vegetable garden in.

"Vegetable garden?", you say. "How hard can that be?", you say. (I'm postulating an imagined you who doesn't do a lot of gardening.)

It probably wouldn't be nearly so much work if I wasn't trying to grow a substantial percentage of our food. The other day, I put in 40 tomato plants, all with individual cardboard "Elizabethan collars" to prevent cutworm damage. (Planting the tomatoes wasn't so bad, but fiddling with the bits of toilet paper roll was a pest.) Yesterday I did the same with peppers--a blessedly fewer number--and basil and parsley. Today I need to rake and till the remaining two beds and put in four different kinds of squash and four different kinds of beans.

And hill up the potatoes.

And weed.

The Cat-Herder helps. I imagine he'll do the raking and tilling and put in the poles for the pole beans--one variety requires 8-foot poles and short as I am, it's much easier to let the big guy handle that.

But I do most it myself, and I couldn't be happier.

At this time of spring, the garden can seem overwhelming, but I wouldn't give it up. I love the results and for the most part I love the work. OK, weeding not so, but I love playing with plants, having my hands in the dirt, watching things grow. I love feeling that we have a bit of independence from the system of large-scale agriculture dependent on dangerous chemicals and illegal immigrants working for next to nothing. I love being able to stroll out at dinner time and pick part of dinner. I love getting up before the day job and wandering out in my bathrobe to water the container plants and pick a salad--it grounds me and gives me perspective on a day spent, out of necessity, doing rather boring tasks that make a lot of money for someone else and far less for me when I'd rather be home writing or playing in said garden.

My life is full of meaning.

I create stories. I create food.

Two of humanity's basic needs and, from the sweat of my brow and the sweat of my brain, I can produce them. How cool is that!


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