Gut Rumbles

December 21, 2003

growing things

When I lived in my one-bedroom apartment while playing guitar for a living, a lot of wimmen scolded me for having no plants in my home. They started coming over and bringing me plants to brighten up the place. I managed to kill everything they brought.

Once, Yvonne and Dora brought over something called an "air plant." They told me that it was perfect for my home because nobody had to do a damn thing to it. It was hardy as hell and lived off air. I managed to kill that one, too. I was convinced that I had a Black Thumb.

I started gardening as soon as I moved to Effingham County. I come from a long line of farmers, and once I started getting my hands dirty in the soil, I discovered that I liked doing that sort of thing. I also discovered that I was GOOD AT IT! I didn't have a Black Thumb after all. I had a Green Thumb.

I started out small, just planting some squash, tomatoes, zuchinni and cucumbers. My garden was about 30' by 16' and it produced a bounty of fresh vegetables. My neighbors were amazed. I was proud of myself.

When I had the mini-farm, I was up to tilling almost half an acre and growing corn, beans, okra, potatoes, squash, zuchinni, tomatoes, cucumber, cantelope, watermelon, green onions and three different varieties of peppers in the summer. I learned to fight off the vermin, the bugs and the critters that tried to destroy my crops. I learned to fertilize and apply herbicide. I learned when to water and when not to.

I also grew lettuce, carrots and turnips in the spring. (I LOVE turnip greens) I learned to barter some of my crop for what somebody else had growing down the road. After the deer stomped my watermelons one year, I traded a five-gallon bucket of potatoes for three mighty fine watermelons. I got a bushel of okra in exchange for a bushel of Kentucky Wonder beans. I traded a big grocery bag full of corn for a big grocery bag full of cantelopes. (yeah, the deer got my cantelopes, too, when they got the watermelons.)

I miss feeling my fingers in the soil today. I have enough land to plant a big garden, but my heart just isn't in it anymore. I had a garden my first year in the Crackerbox and I ended up giving almost everything I grew to the neighbors. I can't eat it all, and I don't have a family to feed anymore. Everybody around here grows tomatoes in pots, but they don't grow enough of anything to barter.

What the fuck. I may plant a garden next year, but I may not. Tending plants is a lot of work. I enjoy doing it, I'm good at it, but I really don't see the point anymore.

Besides, I planted one really good seed in my life, and I see him growing smart and strong, as he plays basketball in the driveway today. His name is Quinton.

I can't do much better than that.


This was my first year gardening and you helped me more than you know.

Tomatoes taste better when you grow them. I ate them until I was bored, and gave 40 pounds away.

Git off your butt and plant your cracker-box garden.

Posted by: SASSY on December 21, 2003 02:09 PM

Sassy, "ditto."

Posted by: Ms Anna on December 21, 2003 02:13 PM

I envy you having the space to do that garden thing. Even if groceries are cheaper, and I doubt they are, there's still the satisfaction of doing it yourself. Besides, there's plenty of time in the day to write and blog and drink and cook and extinguish the woods.

We're still working out how to use our 1/4 acre here...

Posted by: Patrick on December 21, 2003 02:19 PM

Try just planting a couple of square feet or only a short row each of seeds for greens, leaf lettuces, carrots, radishes, spring onions, etc., about a week apart. You'll harvest enough for your own use, fresh, for a longer time. Try a couple of tomato plants of a few varieties that ripen at different times, so that you are not overwhelmed by the harvest. Do you like fried green tomatoes? Mmmm good.

I have just reminded myself that I didn't eat breakfast, and it's way past lunchtime. Bye!

Posted by: Ms Anna on December 21, 2003 02:24 PM

Come Spring I love to get my hands in the dirt. Grow your garden again and take them to Farmer's Market. The hustle and bustle of a Farmer's Market would be a great way to spend your time.There's nothing like a homegrown tomato & cucumber. As for planting seeds, I feel the same about my sons. I was good soil and they're good boys. They've both just sown a lot of wild oats. Don't we all?

Posted by: Lexia on December 21, 2003 02:25 PM

Had a garden for years at the house I used to own. Then, for about eight years lived in a couple of places where I couldn't. And I missed it. Now I have my own house again, and I've been using a shovel to break up an area for spring(no tiller any more). As you say, takes time I don't really have, but I'll find enough for a small space.

Posted by: Mark on December 22, 2003 02:29 AM
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