Monday, May 08, 2006

Transcendental Vegitation

On Saturday I engaged in the ritualistic planting of the vegetable garden. When we were kids my Dad had a big vegetable garden in our backyard. Every year we would have to help him pull the weeds, till the earth and plant the vegetables. My Dad doesn't just PLANT vegetables - there is an entire process that goes with it. First you dig the hole, then you fill it with water, then you mix in extra special dirt and plant food. After that you mix a starter with water and put that in the hole. Only after you have accomplished all of this can you actually so much as put a plant in the ground!

I remember having to water the vegetable garden every night. I remember getting paid ten cents for every tomatoe worm we caught (they are HUGE, green and hideous - think Heimlich from "A Bug's Life"), and I remember eating more zucchini then anyone should ever have to eat in a life time. Our dog Mitzie (a minature poodle) would eat anything on the face of the earth EXCEPT zucchini. Smart dog! Not that I don't like it - just that I don't like it meal after meal after meal. So is it any surprise that I should grow up and start a vegetable garden of my own? Of course if you're going to plant a vegetable garden - you've got to call my Dad! So on Saturday after Horsey Girl had Drill Team and Miss K finished her softball pictures and game, my Dad and I went up to the vegetable garden. Now I must admit that last year was so crazy I just couldn't deal with the garden and I did not plant one. So when we went up there on Saturday we saw this

Yes my friends - that is 2 years' worth of weeds. Now mixed in with the weeds are beautiful poppies because 3 years ago I planted one package of poppy seeds and well - they went from there. While it broke my heart to pull out the poppies I had to or there wouldn't have been room for the veggies. Miss K was horrified - little miss "by the rules" is in 4th grade this year and they are studying California and California missions. So she knows that the State flower is the Golden Poppy and she knows it is illegal in California to pick a poppy. "You're going to be arrested Mommy," she said. "I don't think so" I said, "this is our yard and I planted the poppies so I think it's OK if I tear them out." "Are you sure?" says she. We'll really I'm not sure and I'm really hoping that the cops don't appear at my door any time soon. Just to be sure I think I'll bury the evidence at the bottom of the trash can! My Dad thought there was no way we'd get the entire box weeded and the veggies planted but I told him to have faith. After much pulling we had this:

And a big pile of weeds (I don't see any Poppies in there do you???) that looked like this:

So now we FINALLY get to the fun part - planting the veggies. My Dad keeps complaining that I didn't go to Home Depot because he heard on the radio that they have vegetables in something called peat pots that you just stick in the ground and they disintegrate over time providing nutrients along the way and retaining water. I didn't want to schlep all the way to Home Despot so just went to the local nursery. I swear they are pushing crack there or something because I came home with 10 - yes TEN tomato plants. For any of you who have grown tomatos that is nothing short of a $%# load of tomatos. But there were all this great kinds. There were cherry tomoatos and yellow pear tomatos and something called lemon tomatos. We'll have to see if they live up to their advertising. I also bought some Kentucky blue lake beans and some miniature pumpkins. Just like knitting is NOT a way to save money if you want a scarf or purse, growing your own vegetable garden is not a way to save money on vegetables. Once you buy all the plants, the fertilizer and plant food not to mention the gas of going back and forth to the nursery (good thing I didn't go all the way out to Home Despot!) you spend way more than you ever would if all you ate all summer was vegetables. But that's really not the point of knitting or vegetable gardens is it??!!

So now part of the ritual is for my Dad to tell me that I'm not planting the veggies correctly. I'm not breaking off the leaves at the bottom of the tomato plant or I'm not planting it deep enough. Now let me tell you - I'm 42 years old, the mother of three and people pay a lot of money for my advice but apparently I don't know how to plant a lousy tomato plant! So proving that I learned from the master I turned to my Dad and say, "Hey Gramps" (that's what the kids call him) - your well on that tomato over there SUCKS!! I must say though after about 3 1/2 hours of hard manual labor the garden looked like this:

I'll keep you posted on how they grow because I know you're just dying to know if those tomatos I planted without pulling off the bottom leaves and not deep enough actually bear any fruit! After we were finished Master JET came up to take a look. With all the awe a three year old can muster he gasped and said, "that's AMAZING!" Such gratification.

A little diddy we learned to play on the recorder in 4th grade: Poppies Golden Poppies blooming in the sun, closing up at evening when the day is done.

TODAY'S QUESTION: What's your state flower?

1 comment:

Kish said...

I love gardening :). I am using Lion Brand Homespun. It is the 4 hour afghan pattern (only I made it bigger). It uses two strands of the yarn and it is a very easy pattern to do. Good tv crocheting. :)