‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Sunday, June 3, 2007


A few weeks ago Lucy and I headed to the garden to plant broccoli. When we were ready for the seeds, I discovered there were only 8 of them - since Lucy had eagerly opened the packet from the bottom on her way across the yard.

It is times like these that I have to remind myself why we are doing this silly garden in the first place.

Because it's not exactly increasing our property value, or our esteem in the eyes of the neighbors. It is so we can care for something and watch it grow and be amazed and then eat it. And yes, it's so the kids will know that vegetables don't just come from the store. And because I'm too cheap to buy all those fresh herbs at the Farmer's Market, and too snobby to cook without them.

So Lucy has planned and purchased and planted right alongside me each year. And our rows are not straight and our lettuce is mixed in with the spinach and sometimes we weed a patch only to remember that those were probably the beans we planted mid-summer. NEVERTHELESS we have 5 very closely spaced, very tiny broccoli plants.

It is SO exciting to see those first leaves appear. Because, if you haven't figured this out by now, I am not a gardener.

I do not know what I am doing. My Magic 8 Ball is annoyingly vague. I have googled, I have asked, I have blindly planted.

As it turns out, not being good at something is a great way to make new friends. If you want to talk about gardening, I am a very rewarding listener. And let me tell you, lots of people around here want to talk about gardening. I have a lot to learn from them and I am extremely grateful and non-threatening. My friend Sue is a master gardener and has a tv show, for crying out loud. I cannot compete. Given the competency of most of my friends it is remarkable that I've attempted this at all. I have no shame, apparently.

I planted the sunflowers outside a couple days ago and they are not acclimating well at all. Not At All. In the back of my mind I prepare to say "good heavens, I've gone and killed something again." Although I hope I don't have to.

The broccoli is encouraging.

So we will continue to water all our little plants and sing them songs. And in the afternoon the 3 or 4 of us will report to the vegetable patch to root around with our size-specific trowels. And on nights like tonight we will harvest greens to go in the latest Asian Noodle Salad and feel extremely proud of ourselves.

And maybe when we're all in the garden, looking puzzled and waving our trowels around, we are actually increasing some kind of property value.

1 comment:

Peter said...

Absorbing read - I enjoy it, I often like to wait several days and read them all at once. Similar communicative style to a friend of mine Jeffrey Bergeron

Look for a biff america (jeffrey bergeron)blog out of colorado
As Biff America, Bergeron earns a good living producing and hosting several local cable TV shows. He also co-hosts an AM radio talk show on Sundays during the ski season on KOA 850 in Denver, a Clear Channel station. The show is focused on skiing and outdoor lifestyle topics, but in 2000, Bergeron snagged an interview with presidential candidate Ralph Nader that was broadcast throughout several western states.

He's also a prolific writer; one of his regular columns can be seen monthly in Backcountry magazine and he's won three Colorado Press Awards for best humor column. Bergeron has also found time to bicycle from California to Colorado five times and from Colorado to D.C. He once rode from Miami to Canada and has gone from Seattle to San Francisco four times.

On April 6, Bergeron won a seat on the Breckenridge Town Council in a hotly contested non-partisan race with nine candidates vying for three seats.

Needless to say, Bergeron is no wallflower. "One of my reasons for joining the Green Party is that the party is unabashedly vocal about their politics and their stance," he said. "I wanted to run as a Green because I want people to know where I stand. What you see is what you get."

While he has never run for office before, Bergeron is no stranger to politics. In 1996, he and his wife organized a successful petition drive in Breckenridge for a half-percent open space sales tax. To date, the program has raised $8.4 million, which has gone to the preservation of wildlife habitat and recreational areas in and around the town.

"We've got to pass laws that might sting our pocketbooks and might even affect our lifestyle but would leave a lasting legacy for those that come after us," Bergeron said. "I think the Green Party is a viable alternative for someone to voice their dissatisfaction with the status quo. I think it's important that the Green Party exists and that's why I'm a member, because I think the status quo needs to realize that there is a large segment of the population that cares much more about how we leave the planet after we're gone than about much money we make while we're here."
peter stone