Gardening, a study in optimism


I got my garden planted last week. I should have done it a month ago, but it was raining on Monday and by the time it was dry on Wednesday, I was busy. Then it rained again on Friday and I was out of town the next week. So it went until the other day.

I’m not talking about the kind of garden my dad used to plant. It was different back then. There were no supermarkets, money was non-existent and planting a garden was an act of survival. Without one, you didn’t eat.

While Dad planted everything, I limited my efforts to green beans and sugar peas. Both did well last year. In fact, they were the only things that did. I planted other stuff, too, but they were an embarrassment. The lettuce didn’t bother to come up, the radishes looked like scrawny weeds, ditto the carrots, and the beets resembled small, weird-colored marbles.

I also had a half-dozen tomato plants and I think I saw something red growing on one of them once. The squash bloomed and died, the pumpkins didn’t even try and neither did the eggplant. Strangely, we enjoyed numerous meals with sugar peas, and I packed the freezer with green beans.

Of course, the temperatures turned sub-Saharan around mid June, the ground turned to concrete, and after that it never rained. Of course, I also didn’t have to mow my lawn, which was a good thing since my mower gasped its last and died around the middle of June.

OK, so I’ve also planted a few tomato plants again this year, a couple of peppers, plus a few hills of squash. At the very least, they are pretty when they bloom. Hey, I’m not a total pessimist. And besides, the supermarket is just down the street.

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