Bzzzz July 12th, 2009

I’m going to call my next book Why Bad Things Hap­pen to Good Gar­den­ers.***

The first chap­ter will be enti­tled “Sh*t Hap­pens and Mother Nature is on Vaca­tion.” It will be an indig­nant rant about how dis­ease, pesti­lence, drought, flood and other nat­ural dis­as­ters inevitably hap­pen to every gar­dener sooner or later.

I will use my own expe­ri­ences as exam­ples. I will dis­cuss how my toma­toes have fur­sar­ium wilt—for the sec­ond year in a row, despite rotat­ing them to an entirely new loca­tion where toma­toes have never gone before. I will describe how a legion of leaf-footed bugs dec­i­mated my tomatil­los and sweet autumn clema­tis last year and how I haven’t seen a sin­gle one this year. I will show pho­tos of my monarda bloom­ing with pow­dery mildew.

And let’s not for­get the roses, oth­er­wise known as black spot on a stick.


The title of the sec­ond chap­ter is cur­rently up in the air, but I’m con­sid­er­ing some­thing such as “Plants Have Loved and Lost” or “Emer­gency Rooms I Have Seen, Cour­tesy of My Fiskars Pruners.”

*big sigh*

As I was water­ing for hours and hours today (see chap­ter on drought), I was won­der­ing to myself, “What would I do if I didn’t garden?’

Being fairly obsessed with pro­duc­tiv­ity and in love with checks in lit­tle boxes on a to-do list, I would prob­a­bly do some­thing use­ful. But what?

I’m not con­sid­er­ing giv­ing up gar­den­ing. This is more like an intel­lec­tual exer­cise I do when I get frus­trated. What would you do?

***Why do I say “next book?” Because, yes, I am writ­ing a book. To be pre­cise, I’m co-authoring a book cur­rently called Gro­cery Gar­den­ing. You’ll be hear­ing more about it in com­ing months, but you can reserve your copy now by order­ing here.

Posted In: Gardening, Gardening Life

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Bzzzz July 1st, 2009

I won­der if the rea­son God makes baby ani­mals so adorably cute is to ensure that we will love and care for them?

Think of a baby kitten’s wide-eyed stare, pup­pies tum­bling over each other in enthu­si­as­tic play, baby koala bears hold­ing on to their mums, baby kids flop­ping their big ears around. Heck, even babies that grow up to be killers are lov­able when they’re little—baby bear cubs, coy­otes, foxes.

Not snakes though. A small size does not improve a snake’s lov­abil­ity factor.

Baby chicks, I think, rank among the most adorable of the adorable baby ani­mals. Adorablest? I know because I have six new baby chicks as of this morning—two buff laced Pol­ish, two stan­dard white crested blue and two Easter egg stan­dard. (At least, that’s what I ordered.)


This adorable Easter egg standard’s name is Mered­ith. Not only will Mered­ith go nicely with Myr­tle, Maude, Madelein and Mar­i­lyn, but it is also Ben’s girlfriend’s name. Live long and pros­per, Meredith!

This lit­tle cutie is one of the Easter egg stan­dards and will grow up to lay blue/green eggs.

If every­one sur­vives to adult­hood, we will then have 12 hens and a big old rooster named T. Boone Chick­ens. That will dou­ble the num­ber of hens T. Boone must service.

My hus­band keeps shak­ing his head and ask­ing, “What are we going to do with a dozen eggs a day?”

Frankly, I don’t give a damn. I just like my chick­ens. The eggs dishes are a bonus—quiche, pound cake, omelets, souf­fle, frit­tatas, egg salad, dev­iled eggs, creme brulee, choco­late ice cream, cookie dough ice cream, choco­late chip cherry ice cream…

Posted In: Chickens

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