Feeling Green

We planted our vegetable garden last weekend!


This is my most optimistic time of year—the time of year when I look out at the almost perfectly-squared off garden (we’re going for square foot gardening this year) and think of all the seeds unfurling there under the soil and I can almost see the bean plants and sugar snap peas fully grown, watching over the squares of luscious, green lettuces and bushes dripping with eggplants, carrots plunging deep into the ground below them, onion tops nodding in the breeze, and scents of parsley, sage, and cilantro wafting throughout it all.

I’m just like Pa in the Little House on the Prairie books we’ve been reading this spring.  I tell the boys, “This is it, boys.  Next year you’ll all have an orange for Christmas and two dresses to wear!”  If you’ve read any of the books, you’ll know that in the next chapter, seven months of blizzards begin and then hoards of grasshoppers come and then the prairie catches fire and then there are a bunch of tornadoes and next Christmas the family is cooking a Christmas dinner out of Pa’s worn-out shoes.  (Okay the last part doesn’t happen but everything else does.)

The plagues that rain down on my vegetable garden aren’t quite as Newbery-prize winning as Pa’s, but they do just as much damage: the slugs eat everything from the ground up, the birds take every last berry off our fruit bushes, the rabbits eat the remainder of the plants down to nothing, the raccoons pull anything they can out of the ground, and the deer come to finish off any leaf or seedling that the others accidentally left.

Last year we got ‘em, though.  Kevin built a fence.  It wasn’t the fence of my dreams I asked for—one that, you know, had any form of an entrance to it and one that didn’t have a giant roll of unused fencing still hanging off of one side of it, but it was a fence.  And for the first time ever, the vegetable garden actually had greenery in it through September!

The fence wasn’t the only thing that needed work, though.  I let Kevin pick all the vegetables to plant last year, and he planted about 20 nasturtiums, two pumpkins, and tomatoes even though our neighbor grows a bazillion tomatoes and gives them to us all summer.  Then Kevin got all excited when he saw something about the size of a baseball growing on a bush in July so he picked it, and we were down to just one pumpkin.

So this year Kevin rebuilt the fence while I stood next to him with my arms crossed and watched, and this fence has a gate that opens and closes and it has the exact right amount of fencing on it!  My only concern now is that to keep deer out you need to build a fence that is six feet high.  Our fence is not six feet high.  The deer around here don’t look like they’re great at math, though, so I think we’ll be okay.

Yep.  It’s going to be a bumper crop this year.  If things go well we might even get about $25 worth of vegetables out of our garden, and at this rate it will have paid itself off in 10 years or so.

I think Ma Ingalls puts it best when she says.  “Oh, Charles!”*

Lobster mac ‘n cheese
Teriyaki flank steak
Lemon spaghetti
Roasted vegetables

*Hilarious to anyone who has recently read the books.  Probably pretty lame to anyone who hasn’t, but I wouldn’t know now would I?

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