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Pining for Burpee's...#8 on the list of 25 Things - It seemed like a good idea at the time... [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Pining for Burpee's...#8 on the list of 25 Things [Feb. 10th, 2009|07:57 am]
This is the time of year when I'd place the order. Mostly with Comstock-Ferre, because I'm a Connecticut girl, but usually I'd throw Burpee's a small order. Get something exotic from White Flower.

Schedule the roto-tilling with Warren, the farmer around the corner. Then become a planting fool.

But I do congratulate myself on finally being mature enough to accept that a vegetable garden is incompatible with my current lifestyle. When we first moved to this house, I built...made Tim build...bought all the stuff, showed him how to do it...let him do the drill and pounding part...a raised bed for vegetables. And for the first couple of years, managed to plant tomatoes, basil, some beans, some peas, parsley, other herbs. But I quickly learned that, the raised bed being quite close to a storm drain opening, that the rats would come and take a bite out of most of the tomatoes. Which grossed me out.

And honestly, it just wasn't big enough for an ex-farm girl like me. I'd grow enough beans for like, three dinners....planting, tending the rows, picking...when I could buy a bag at the farmer's market in a fraction of the time...by the time I got back in the house, I'd eat most of the peas I'd picked.

And really, as the trees around it grew, it went from being all sunny, to half sunny within the space of three years and then I could only plant sun-needy stuff at one end.

And rotation is key to a healthy garden. Which led to a less than healthy garden. Which coincided with my life filling up with greyhounds, jobs, renaissance faires and all sorts of other activities.

hich led to the garden filling up with drought-stricken vegetables and weeds. And the Napoleonic Lemon Balm that was planted halfway across the yard, but managed to transport itself into the veg garden. I used to love Lemon Balm. But honestly, Alexander the Great was not this ambitious. That stuff took over everywhere. Not just root shoots like mint -- this S.O.B sends seed, too. And you know what it's good for? Not much. Not enough to justify having to burn it out of all of the places it wandered into over a season.

But now, I have accepted that it's either Virginia Faire or vegetables. The two are incompatible for me. I can't do a half-way decent job on both. It's all I can do to do a somewhat decent job on one, frankly, so I've sucked it up, pulled my big girl panties on and accepted it like a grown-up. Not bad for near 46.

So, instead of starting one, then watching the weeds/bugs/drought/rats consume whatever I planted, I go to the farmer's market whenever I can and I've planted vast quantities of mint and drink a lot of mojitos. Which is happy-inducing in it's own way.

But O! I miss paging through the catalogs and dreaming -- which bean, Bush Lake again, or should I give Contender a shot?

[User Picture]From: pyllgrum
2009-02-10 02:07 pm (UTC)
I think the ability to like the flavor of green beans is a major contributor to the yearning for a vegetable garden.
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2009-02-11 01:11 pm (UTC)

Good thing I fell in love with you before I discovered THIS tragic flaw.

Oooh, raw picked right off the plant, steamed with a boatload of butter, roasted with olive oil and garlic, simmered to oblivion with a chunk of fat smokey meat...tsk, tsk, to miss all that...
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[User Picture]From: lowlandscot
2009-02-10 02:47 pm (UTC)
I've reached the stage where I still order neat stuff out of catalogs (Cook's Garden, Johnny's, and Renee's, mostly), get the seedlings out in the garden, ignore them until they look pathetic, and then the deer eat them and I don't have to worry about them any more. It's a little more expensive than your approach, but requires less maturity and willpower.

Catmint is also indestructible and aggresive, deer don't touch it, and it's amusing to sit on the porch watching the cats rub themselves into a hallucinogenic frenzy while I get hammered on mojitos.
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2009-02-11 01:16 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I did that for years, although substitute rats/squirrels/bluejays/rabbits for deer. It's freeing to not do it.

Don't get me wrong, I have four other major garden plots with Chives, rosemary, catmint, lavender, and my collection of Toad Lilies. (No. Really. They are very cool plants and I love them. Plus they've got "toad" in their name.) Mostly the critters don't bother them and I can get the bulk of the tending done before faire season roars in.

Now, I am so craving a mojito...
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From: kudrasslipper
2009-02-10 03:15 pm (UTC)
Maybe, just maybe, we'll have a community garden in the next year or so, and you can come up and wander through it when you're feeling extra nostalgic. I'll even let you page through the catalogs with me!!!!
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[User Picture]From: silvrwillow
2009-02-10 10:39 pm (UTC)
Of course... you could plant a veg garden at VARF & have the revelers "tend it".
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