Most if not all of the gardening books I’ve read tout the importance of mulching. The warmth, the nutrients, the weed suppression, the water conservation; mulching is your best friend they say. Well, I’m here to tell you those gardeners probably did not write that on a day they actually mulched. I would go so far as to say, not even the same week. I mulched two days ago and we are not friends. Friends don’t make friends’ shoulders ache. In time, I might forgive the mulch but first, it’s going to have to do a thing or two for me. Yes, I’m talking kickbacks. Show me the tomatoes you pile of rotten wood. I’m sure our relationship will improve with time but for now that mulch is lucky it looks good.
Besides tucking my greenlings in for the summer there is another fun adventure happening in my garden. Since the snow peas are having children of their own now, I figured I better refocus my attention before the inevitable happens. Well, I’ve moved on to pole beans. It turns out, I really like plants that want to reach out and grab on to something. It makes this gardening thing more of a two way street. Yes, I’ll support you, but you are the one that is going to have to make the climb. And the pole beans are so up for the challenge. No sooner did the poles go in the ground than they were wrapping their little feelers up the thing and curving around. Fascinating.
The hubs said it reminded him of Jack and the Beanstalk and it took us both a couple of beats to realize well, duh. The sad reality though, is that the story is real to us, but the actual bean plants are a novelty. We stood next to our bean garden just amazed at how far they grew up sticks overnight. It was like a sideshow.
Throughout my ridiculously picky childhood the only two vegetables I would eat were corn and green beans. And the green beans only if they were canned. I’m embarrassed by it now but once I went to a friend’s house for dinner and my rude self asked her mother if the green beans were fresh. Not because I would only eat fresh (which my friend’s mom no doubt assumed), but because I would only eat processed. Oh the horror. It was like a double faux pas. The beans were frozen. I wouldn’t eat them either. Make that triple.
Expanding both my palate and understanding of such a basic part of life, that is food, have been enlightening corollaries to my gardening e. First of all, if I grow it, I’m eating it. There is no way I’m putting that much work into something and not reaping benefits. If all else fails, I’ll throw it in soup. That may be problematic with the beets, but I’ll figure something out. My sister has a beet cake recipe.
However, the more ethereal perk is the plethora of epiphanies this new relationship with nature has provided. Not just gosh, I could see how some Englishman would see a beanstalk climbing toward the sky and invent a fairy tale now that I see how beanstalks work; but life needs to be lived to be understood. Reading fairy tales will only get you so far.
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I like to throw things.