Thursday, August 25, 2011

Perfume vs The Farm

I'm allowed to buy perfume now.

But I'm gardening instead.

What's wrong with me?

When six or seven o'clock rolls around, I trot over to The Farm. (Our grand name for a medium-sized vegetable garden.) I always think that I'm just going to give whatever was just planted an extra watering, and pick a few strawberries, and be home in twenty minutes. Then I find myself walking up and down the rows to see what's new. Three eggplants in development! The tiny watermelon is larger than a walnut! (Though still infinitely smaller than a watermelon.) The corn is tasseling! (Not good news, really; we wanted it to be fatter and taller before it did that.) Cucumbers are cucumbering! The tomatoes are _still_ all green! That freakish white winter squash has taken over another ten square feet!

Then I get worried about the lettuce and water it, and plan how to get it eaten before it all bolts. And then there are the beans on the far side of the row that don't get sprinkled; got to water them. And the third planting of beans and the first planting of peas and the brussels sprouts and broccoli and cauliflower and collard greens and kale are all pretty young; don't I need to hand-water every single one of them, in spite of the sprayers and the water timer that we put in to do just that? Of course I do.

And I need to stare at the zinnias and the cosmos. Flowers like to be appreciated. And I need to stare at the row that we've designated for cutting flowers and decide what perennials to plant there when the rainy season starts. And I need more compost. More more more compost!

And then the sun is going down and I frantically pick strawberries while I can still see them, and trot home. And then there's often work to do. And when there isn't work, there are seed and bulb and plant sites to read. I have to decide if it's morally wrong to grow tulips as annuals. I have to decide if double daffodils that are so freakishly doubled that they're no longer recognizable as daffodils, are a travesty. Because they're pretty, aren't they? Aren't they? If you pretend they're not daffodils?

I have to decide whether to lift all the blueberries once the rainy season starts, to acidify the soil properly. I have to pick a winter cover crop, though if I keep planting more cabbagey things I might not need to. I have to try eating sunflower buds. I haven't fried any squash blossoms yet. I need to weed the onions.

I don't have time for perfume.

What's wrong with me?

Image: Wikimedia Commons.


  1. Nothing is wrong with you. This is farm-time. Enjoy it. And stop obsessing about your vegetables - they sound like they're doing fine. Throw some nitro-rich fertilizer on your corn (you can go organic, or not) and leave it alone. It'll be fine (we did organic nitro on two row, nothing on the other two rows - WORLD of difference).

    I'm putting in the early fall broccoli (we can't plant that during the extreme heat, of course) and seeding cabbaage for winter cover meself. I was going to go with winter rye but man, it's scary!

    Enjoy your time in the garden. You can do like Katherine White and her seed catalogus and focus on perfume in the winter months.


  2. Hey, Frida! Thanks! But it seems so _wrong_ not to be perfume obsessed!

  3. Yo, Musette! Cool, thanks. :)

    We did give everybody more fertilizer, and a dose of something extra nitrogeny, so I'll stop being impatient and just wait for the ears to fatten up. And next year I'm planting the corn in time-staggered blocks - one little block of parch corn that I planted several weeks after the main planting of sweet corn is far fatter and bigger and more luxuriant, presumably because it had lots of heat in its youth. Sadly, there's almost no chance that it will finish, ripen, and dry on the plant before the rain and cold starts. And it had the most amazingly beautiful seeds...

    Ooh, cabbage. I did broccoli and cauliflower and kale, but no cabbage....

    See, I fear that I might do the seed catalog thing. What if perfume is lost to me forever? Oh, noooooo!

    OK, I'll get a grip now. :)