Our columnist Lori Borgman learns that it’s not always a case of ‘as you sow, so shall you reap’.
Lori Borgman finds the funny in everyday life, writing from the heartland of the US. Now, if she could just find her car keys…
It’s gardening season here, which means in a few months there is a 50/50 chance I’ll be staring at plants in our garden saying, “They were a lot prettier in the seed catalogue.” The husband is still stinging from our home-grown tomato endeavour several years ago. I asked him why we would buy tomatoes that somebody else grew when we could have the enjoyment and satisfaction of growing them ourselves.
He thought home-grown vegetables sounded interesting. By the end of the summer we discovered that with the inability to know when to quit, we were able to grow the world’s most expensive tomatoes.
This is how it’s done: Buy six seedling tomato plants, 20 feet of fencing and wire cutters, which aren’t cheap. Stick the tomato plants in the ground and let them grow for a week. Next week, go out and buy rabbit repellent, slug bait and six new tomato plants to replace the ones the critters destroyed.
To let the critters know you aren’t going down easy, also buy fertiliser, tomato dust, a five-position sprinkler on a timer and a pricey hammock from which you can simultaneously lounge and do surveillance.
By summer’s end, we had beautiful ripe tomatoes that cost roughly a half-day’s wage per tomato. Although they were lovely and delicious, it is hard to enjoy tomatoes that expensive.
The next year, we built a couple of raised beds. Rabbits might squeeze in under wire fencing, but let them take a run at solid wood and see what happens. We congratulated ourselves on our brilliance.
The day after the garden was planted, I poured my morning coffee and stood by the window to watch.
A pack of rabbits appeared and bounded over the side of the bed, nibbled on tender greens, bounded back out, bounded back in, nibbled some more, and bounded back out. I fully expected to hear workout music with a pulsing beat. The garden was a fitness centre for bunnies complete with an organic snack bar.
This year the husband added more boards to the raised beds making them even higher. Barring rabbits toting ladders or some convoluted catapult system, we are confident our produce will be safe. We are so confident that we have added three varieties of lettuce and cucumbers to the line-up.
Yes, we have considered that the critters may outsmart us again and we will wind up growing lettuce and cucumbers as expensive as the
ApackofRABBITSboundedinandoutoverthesideofthebed,NIBBLING on tender greens. I fully expected to hear WORKOUT MUSIC. The garden was a fitness centre for BUNNIES complete with an organic SNACK BAR
tomatoes. We have also considered that we may be forced to consider salad as part of our financial portfolio.
Sometimes I wonder if the ideal garden isn’t one where someone else plants, weeds, waters and battles the critters ensuring that the vegetables mature to near perfection. The husband says that system is already in place – it’s called a grocery store.