|One of our three GARDENS just off our front door|
Planted April 2016
Back in the prehistoric 1960's my parents moved us out of Chicago and into the wilds of Warrenville Illinois. For the first time in their married lives and after having five children, they were done with apartment living.
I suspect their landlords may have been done with them as well.
They bought a two story, four bedroom bungalow with a basement and detached garage for a whopping $16,000. The yard, now get this, was covered in grass!!! We thought we had died and been reborn on the TV show Green Acres. Our neighbor even had a garden, the kind where things grew in the dirt. We were enthralled.
I was so enthralled that when my best girlfriend decided we should "borrow" some of those veggies, load them in my red wagon and peddle them about town, I hesitated not. We sold tomatoes and cukes, green beans and well, that was it, because about two hours into our scam of the century my father caught us. He made us give all the cash we had collected, to the neighbor who owned the garden after we admitted our wrongdoing and begged his forgiveness, of course. We also had to weed this mans garden every Saturday for the rest of our lives. At least it seemed that long; I think we did it for two weekends until dad forgot or the neighbor died or something. I can't recall.
What did I learn? To steal from someone across town, and peddle your hocked goods in the next state where your father is not a member in good standing of the very small, very volunteer police department, that's what I learned. And yes, I also learned that gardening is hard work and it stinks for one person to put in the sweat equity while another gleans the profits.
Which brings me to the latest New Age Nonsense, the renaming of gardens as "food plots", as if carrots had the brains to scheme. Vegetables have no time to devise plans, to seek revenge, to develop pyramid scams, they are too busy just putting down roots. The space in a yard where you dig up the sod, loosen the dirt and plant seeds is called a GARDEN.
We have three garden spots (just because that rhymes with food plot, does not negate my argument) and we are working like dirty, sweaty dogs to convince plants to grow in them. All winter Keith piled up our cow manure so that it would be ready for garden spreading this spring. Our soil here on The Poor Farm is heavy with clay, drains poorly and needs as much organic material as we can dump on it.
And dump we did. Manure mixed with straw and old hay went on top of our designated GARDENS, Seeds and seedlings were planted and then we mulched with newspaper, cardboard, grass clippings, and more straw or rotted hay. It is slowly making a difference. As our GARDENS grow I'll post more pictures but in the meantime...neighbor children be warned. If I catch any of you steeling veggies from me for your own high falutin' get-rich-quick schemes you'll be weeding my GARDEN for at least three Saturdays, maybe four.
I will also give you a high-five for your entrepreneur spirit and send you home with enough zucchini to choke an elephant.