My Food Garden & Other Freaks of Nature

This year, I can feel it, I will be perfect. No, I won’t be polite without fail to the idiots of the world. Neither will I swear that not one morsel of junk food will pass my lips. Seriously! Indeed, I can pretty much guarantee that dirty dishes will pile up on occasion. As for keeping the clutter off the top of my desk…don’t make me laugh.

But I will be perfect. This year I will do everything my food garden needs, even before it needs doing. I feel keen, motivated, and lucky. What could go wrong?

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I’m already getting a great start on the season. I’ve been hoeing down early weeds before they have the chance to get out of control. I’ve fed the rhubarb and the raspberries, and I’ve checked my stock of seeds, making note of those that are in good supply, namely, Silverado chard, Ruby Queen beets, scarlet runner beans, Lebanese zucchini, and vegetable marrow, and those that need topping up, not surprisingly, a longer list.

My biggest struggle at the moment is to hold myself back. There’s still the risk of frost in my area, hardiness zone 8B, according to the experts. It’s definitely not time to be hurling tender seedlings into cold, waterlogged soil. That would not be the act of a perfect steward of the garden. I can only imagine the horror and agony of a bedding plant set out too soon.

“What? Really? How am I supposed to photosynthesize when there’s no hint of sunlight showing through all those roiling grey clouds? It’s so dark I can’t tell night from day. Ur, wait a minute, I think the clouds are parting. Those dots of light are stars, right? OMG! The temperature is plummeting. That leftover raindrop is freezing on my leaf. Aaaiiiieeeee!”

You might be thinking that I’ve had this delusion before, this dream of having a year when I’m the perfect food gardener. You’d be right, of course, but my previous failures were never my fault. The Universe itself conspired against me.

This year, though, I will put the Universe in a headlock and make it beg for mercy. It’s just a matter of adjusting my priorities. My best friend’s car broke down and he needs a ride to the hospital for some urgent medical tests? Sorry, my scarlet runners are due to be staked. Your daughter’s kitten went missing and you want me to join in the search? I’d love to help, but the corn needs to be side-dressed.

After all, nothing should stand in the way of a perfect garden. Right?

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