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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