It seemed like a good plan.
Five years ago, my husband, Tom, and I ordered 1,500 asparagus crowns, along with other fruit and vegetable plants, all at once.
We were brand-new farmers. In fact, until college, I had thought olives grew with pimientos in them.
It wasn’t until our order arrived that we realized our mistake.
“Which ones are the asparagus?” I wondered out loud.
“I think they are the ones that look like squid," said Tom, who before our move had been a third-generation charter fisherman in Florida.
We turned to Google and YouTube University to figure everything out.
When we got to the asparagus, I looked up an article online. That’s when I realized something: “Hey, Tom. It says we were supposed to have prepared the field a year ago to make sure there is no grass or weeds.” “Too late now,” replied Tom. He made raised beds and laid irrigation tape. Next, he ran the potato plow over the beds to make a furrow for the plants.
The first few rows were fun. Tom dropped the plants while I carefully placed them, spread their roots, and covered them with our red clay.
By day three, my knees seemed to be permanently damaged, my clothes were ruined, and we were exhausted.
We started to bicker. After a while, our conversation seemed so pitiful, we decided to go to bed. “Remind me why we changed houses, careers, friends and states?” I said mostly to myself in the dark.
There was a long pause. “Because we wanted a simpler life,” Tom said.
We laughed and called it a night.
PAULINE HYLTON MOUNT AIRY, NORTH CAROLINA