Rainy Sunday

I always go garden shopping in the worst weather. Several weeks ago when Stephanie was visiting, we packed up the wee babe and took off in the 4" of slush and snow to buy planting trays and peat pots at a local greenhouse. Today it is wet, wet, wet and kind of cold, so when husband Stu and I got tired of working last week's crossword and watching old episodes of "Scrubs," we went out to the greenhouse to buy onion bulbs and peat moss. We also got more peat pots, not because I ran out the first time, but because I accidentally dashed an entire tray of beautiful basil and sweet pepper seedlings to the floor with one unfortunate elbow jerk last week, so I need to re-plant. I should have knocked over the lettuce seedlings instead because recently they all died a limp, soggy death. I think they were over-watered.

Stu and I frequently fantasize about buying a little plot of land and trying to subsist. In our version of paradise we have a little house off the grid, a few chickens giving us our daily fresh eggs, perhaps even a goat, heck, let's throw in a pair of alpacas while we're at it, and a bountiful garden full of lush produce. Of course, we're aware that this dream of ours is at best a woefully romanticized idea of homesteading and at worst, La-La Land.

Gardening in the middle of the summer here is always a reality check. July in Madison is when, for the home gardener without a fancy schmancy greenhouse, it's a little too early for tomatoes but a little too late for the salad greens which have gone all bitter in the heat. The weeds have taken over, you have to water every day, and your god-awful putrid stink spray has failed to fend off hungry rabbits and instead just makes you smell like garlic and rotten eggs after hopefully but futilely spraying it on your bush beans. Gardening for pleasure and the occasional homegrown salad is high maintenance enough. Gardening for actual sustenance may be more than I could handle.

In early spring, though, this knowledge doesn't stop me from getting all ambitious every year, expanding my little yard garden, buying more seeds than I actually have room to plant, and thinking that this season I'll get a little closer to that goal.

I love to play in the dirt.


Steph said…
There's this really dorky British comedy from the seventies that you should check out call "Good Neighbors" about subsistance farming in the London suburbs. It's totally corny, but if you've ever had a dream of being self-sufficient, it's kind of fun. In one of my favorite episodes, the main characters buy a loom and attempt to dye their own cloth with a brew made of stinging nettles. If your public library has a Dated Britcom Ghetto like ours does, you should be able to find it. In VHS, of course.
canadahauntsme said…
My landlord came by the house yesterday to fix my sink, my roommate's sink, and finally put a doorknob on the front door (since I moved there in July entering hte house has been a challenge). But he delivered good news: my roommates and I are allowed to tear up part of the back yard to plant a garden. Secretly I'd had seeds already planted in starters in anticipation for such news. I know we won't be self-sufficient, but thankfully I won't have to rely on the twice-a-week farmer's market or (gasp!) Food Lion.

Hopefully your plants will survive all the hungry bunnies and a curious infant.

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