Friday, June 15, 2012

reluctant, accidental farming

There are many tricks you can use to "con" yourself into doing things that you know are wise but that you're less than excited about doing. You know, putting the alarm clock across the room so you get to work on time, picturing your arteries full of congealed bacon grease as you reach for an eclair, etc.

It has been long established in my little world that I am happiest indoors. Don't like the extreme heat/cold, bugs or being on my knees in the dirt. Wish I did, I'd be a better Renaissance woman, well-respected lesbian and more smug liberal. I like to say that I was waiting in line for Sarcasm, Hair and Belly-laughs when the Metabolism and Outdoorsy counters ran out of supplies. I have really good hair though.

One trick I use to force myself to be more "earthy" is to tap into my obsession with not wasting anything. Not putting stuff in the landfills that has practical use. So, I compost. No interest in gardening, just want to make great smelling, rich, loamy compost out of all the discards from the kitchen. Eventually, I ended up with lots of compost and no urge to garden.

Exhibit 1
Enter Drought. One of the worst droughts in recorded Houston history. Houston, a name synonymous with dampness. Anyway, the drought killed the long-suffering and sturdy azaleas in our front beds. It was sad but you know, que sera sera and all that shit. We decided to take our Red Flyer wagon-loads of compost and dump them in the now naked beds. We churned and stirred and walked away.

And then, like some time-sped-up, National Geographic miracle movie I went out there today and saw Exhibit 1. Call me crazy but that is some reluctant, accidental gardening right there. Those unnamed plants, my fellow Americans are a mystery to me. I have no idea which meal byproduct(s) over the past year have contributed to the farm but we're going to have more of them, whether I like it or not.

Ron and Mandragora.
Joe is convinced we're going to pull up something mutated and Harry Potteresque. Which is highly possible. What worries me more than anything is the sudden urge to protect the farm. I found myself daydreaming about a sun screen for the tender little things when I know full and damn well I'm going to forget about them. Forget and find their brown, shriveled up bodies next week in a wave of guilt and irritation. If they actually screamed when they were thirsty I'd remember to take care of them. I should cultivate Mandrakes instead.

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