CELESTIAL MUSINGS | Gardening's dirty work
March 6, 2009 · 11:25 AM
I see those people every year. Those gardening people, with the six-foot tall cornstalks by mid-May and big, red, plumpish tomatoes through late September. I have a message for them: I hate/envy you in the worst way.
For three consecutive summers I busted my back (we’re talking in need of a heating pad) in an attempt to put fresh veggies on my family’s dinner table. I was so looking forward to slicing my own cucumbers into my Gladware and hauling them to work for lunch every day. That never happened.
Every year was the same story. On day one — the first Saturday I was granted access to my plot-o-land — I’d create the heightened dirt rows, optimistically plant stuff, throw down some not-too-bad for the environment veggie food, saturate with water and leave exhausted and covered in dirt.
The successive trips were never so productive. Every Saturday I’d spend a bit of time pulling weeds, while my self-entertaining son hurled dirt clods and laughed maniacally as they splattered on the ground or “accidentally” hit my poor little Elantra.
After a few trips, he’d lose interest, so the trips would get fewer and further between.
In the meantime, the only thing that would show signs of life in the soil were the weeds.
One year green beans sprouted, so we used those gentle zip ties to bound them to a stick so they’d grow upright.
I felt like Martha Stewart (only without the hundreds of workers whose goal it was to make me look good).
All six of the green bean sprouts met horrible fates. I think a few fell victim to wild animals, or possibly wild children, as they just disappeared without a trace. The others, despite my coddling, watering and begging, simply died.
The tomato starts never stood a chance. I planted three of them. Watered, fed and (again) begged. All of them died.
Same with the cucumbers, pumpkins, cantaloupe and even the plants sitting on my desk in the office.
I suspect, after how many plants I’ve senselessly murdered in the last few years, that anywhere vegetable seeds are sold there’s a wanted poster with my face on it.
I’m Lizzie Borden with a garden shovel and water hose.
The bottom line is some people are meant to garden and some are simply meant to purchase their wares from farmers markets.
Much to my dismay, I am certainly the latter.