Wednesday, January 12, 2011

MIA: a veggie garden

Missing in action: a veggie garden.
Aka: The continuing saga of The Forest Dweller With No Damn Decent Place to Set Down Some Roots.

... It sure would be nice to plant these seeds if they even sprout, now that they are a bit old, since I bought them last year in time for a fine springtime veggie garden ...

what is 'iffy' is that the area designated last year to be the new veggie garden may or may not be ready by planting time ...
HubbyDear started work on it in early spring 2010 (I said HURRY PLEASE!) and got this far by mid-summer ...
... note the deer prancing by, probably also wondering when this rumored garden was going to be offering the first of its tender shoots for nibbling on.

It was August, and there were two raised beds.
No soil.
No back fence to enclose the space.
No gate.
It was not ready.


To satisfy my desire for home-grown veggies, I ran out in haste (mid-summer, remember?) to the local garden center and purchased one of the last few patio tomato seedlings left on the shelves. As late in the season as it was, this was a pretty substantial little plant. As far as seedlings go, sturdy and full of promise. Several vines even sported tiny, hard green tomatoes at this late point in time. The thing fairly ached for a transplant into more dirt, water, sun and a bit of TLC. I was encouraged to think that, within a week or two of ideal conditions, I could coax from this plant a bit of a yield. I transplanted the lush little seedling into a good-sized pot, topping it off with nutrient rich garden soil. The pot was set on our back deck, where adequate sunshine would be certain to shine upon it ...

... that night or early the next morning, my poor defenseless tomato seedling was immediately chomped on by some foraging forest critter. It could have been a deer. Or a hare. Or ....

... Whatever it was boldly tromped onto the deck sometime between when I planted and the following morning when I looked outside to admire the greenery (and to imagine sweet vine-ripened tomatoes in my near future, even if two or three in number) - only to find that some voracious woodland creature done munched my lovely tomato seedling to a pitiful little stump of a stick ...

... save for left one small hard green tomato ... with a nasty bite in it.
Gee, thanks.

In any case, it turned out to be a disappointing year all around for home grown tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes did fine, and were being harvested in buckets, if not a peck or bushel. Yet, even by late summer, full grown tomatoes were still green on everyone's vines. Instead of the usual relentless overbearing heat of July and August, temps stayed relatively cool throughout the season. Across the board, home harvests were delayed, and a bit skimpy - from what I could surmise from the talk circulating amongst my buddies. They who swore to me each time I asked 'Any tomatoes to spare?' - that they had nary a love apple harvest worth boasting about, much less sharing - just yet.

So -
a 2011 veggie garden here at the humble abode? Will there be one? Who knows?
You will be kept posted, either with a rave and lotsa pix, or a curmudgeonly Bah! Humbug VeggieGarden!! post or two. Lord knows, I can write me a fairly novella-length curmudgeon post now and again. And what better topic, than the ongoing saga of the MIA veggie garden, eh?

IF the garden space is actually completed in time for planting fun, I will certainly show a photo or two of tomatoes or bitter melon on the vine. News of which will be nothing altogether too exciting for those of you who have generous amounts of both space and sun, of course - with lush gardens to show for it each year. Some, like me - live in the forest, with dense trees all around, with the strongest and most consistent sunlight occurring for a minimum of hours (typically between 11AM and 1PM most summer days). Hardly worth the effort of putting time and energy into a Victory Garden, but we get our cheap thrills where and when we can.

Since moving to the woods, gardening for us has never produced the most satisfying of results, but hey - if I yield a few good veggies as well as some play-in-the-dirt pleasure from any meager plantings, it will be a satisfying project. News of which I will strain your reading eyes, if not bend your ears - with tales of.

If not - oh bother.
I'll go back to buying my bitter melon from a stall in Chinatown ...
 ... and photographs will be of ready made Chinatown dim sum lunches I partake in during those supposed produce shopping sprees.

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