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Spring garden 2020

May 19, 2020

Vegetable gardens never cease to amaze me. You might think that a person who spent so many years living on farms, and whose parents always had a vegetable garden if at all possible, would be a little jaded about them. In my case, you would be wrong. There’s something about the creative process (far more than the science that is also needed) of planting and properly caring for a garden that fills me with both anticipation and enthusiasm.

I last planted a spring garden just over two years ago. I’ve mentioned my experience with depression more than once, so I see no reason to pummel that deceased equine beyond noting that Effexor XR has been, for me, a life-changing medication. This spring, I finally had the energy to plant one. Some observations seem to be in order.

  • Letting the land lie fallow for two years makes a significant difference in how well things grow. It’s like those old farmers stretching back for generations knew something about that sort of thing. Weird.
  • Letting the land lie fallow for two years and not bothering to till it at all during that period makes for hard work when prepping the garden beds. I recommend not doing that if it can be avoided.
  • Many people will not share your (childish) enthusiasm for your garden. Inflict it upon them, anyway. If they want any of your produce, they’ll sit still and listen.
  • Mulch is your friend. The only thing I don’t really enjoy doing is weeding, and even that’s not too bad until it gets hot. Mulch, properly chosen and applied, makes this essential task much less onerous.
  • If you’re going to garden and produce more than you (and others) can eat in a season, learn to can and preserve your harvest or sell your excess at a farmer’s market (or both).

I actually got plants (and seeds) in the ground later than I should have, this year. So, it is with great joy that I share the following:


That’s my thumb for a sense of scale. So, though I got in the ground later than I wanted, it has begun. To put that phrase in perspective, let’s talk about zucchini. This year, because some dear friends of ours (friends as in “family in all but name”) also like veggies in general, including zucchini squash and yellow squash, I planted three zucchini and three straight neck yellow squash. Experts say 1 plant per person. My experience is that Black Beauty variety of zucchini will, with three plants, produce more zucchini than we will collectively want to eat this year. Then, of course, we add in the yellow squash. Those aren’t quite as prolific, but they too produce a lot of food. I planted three of those, but only two survived transplantation. “It has begun” then, relates to the fact that if I harvest regularly when the squash are six to eight inches long, I will be picking squash almost every day for the entire season. They add up quickly, like that, so we’ll can some, too.

Maybe that’s part of what motivates me to plant a garden. The ability to make myself and those I care about less dependent upon others, including what is in many ways an increasingly intrusive government, appeals to me even if that independence gained is small. I simply do not like being dependent. There is something within me that says dependence, when there is another choice, is not a good thing (interdependence is something else and not part of this post). Being able to depend upon others when you have to, knowing that they will come through if they possibly can, is good. Depending on them to do for you what you can and arguably should do for yourself is not good. It’s not good for you, for them or for whatever sort of relationship you have.


There is a tendency for people toward either end of the American political spectrum, those who are part of the RCB,* to post a photo or story and proclaim that “they don’t want you to see/read/watch/know this.” Not to be outdone, I give you the following. They don’t want you to see this picture. You have been warned.


Raccoons are saddle-breaking feral hogs and riding them into battle against the opossums. Government and the media don’t want you to know this. Share this, before it’s too late. Wake up, America!


*Reynolds Chapeau Brigade

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