Thursday, August 15, 2013

that (weed) garden

Remember all that hope and promise in spring and early summer with the seeds planted and the garden plot we took over at a community nursery? Yeah. Well, about that garden...

(Look, can't you see our bounty of tomatoes? Yeah, me neither.)

(Doug tries to be enthusiastic about the weed patch.)

Ya see, the plot is rather far from the marina. And we have been traveling. And it's been a really rainy summer so every time it rains, I just shrug and say, "Oh good, now I don't have to drive out there to water the garden!" And I have a toddler whose naps are all over the place when they happen at all (heaven help me she is starting to outgrow napping!) And.. and... and... Ok! Fine! I am the world's worst gardener and that's probably why living on a boat suits me so well. I have that fantasy of neatly planted rows of green nutrition to fill baskets hand woven by organic women's co-ops in Central America. I walk through the rows with my children skipping and singing behind me I wear shabby looking $180 garden shoes and a swishy skirt and plan the vegetarian dishes that my children who eat anything will gratefully gobble up after setting a beautiful table and saying a meal blessing.


Here's how it goes down. We drive to the weed patch, I mean garden plot and 37 seconds after exiting the air conditioned car Zach starts to get paranoid about ticks. Legitimate concern as we end up with a tick every single time we go there and we are one of the worst spots in the USA for Lyme disease (sadly many of his friends have it.) He gets over it and runs to the plot to see what's growing, full of verbal enthusiasm, remarking how fabulous it will be to eat (insert whatever managed to grow here) and how excited he is that something he planted actually grew. Yes! That's the spirit! I tell him to pick said thing and let's bring it home.

Then he goes to inspect closer and sees a flaw. It has mud or mush or marks of some kind on it and game over. "I can't eat this, it's rotten!" No honey, it's fine. We grew it, we know it's fine. We just cut that part away.  During this negotiation I realize I haven't heard any sounds from Naia. I look around and find her squatting down in the tall, tick infested grass. "Whatcha doing over there?"  She smiles. "I go potty!" Ok, it's all fertilizer right? Zach is about to freak out over her communing with nature, but thankfully a toad hops by and he's off. I try to get them excited about pulling weeds. Naia of course can't tell a weed from an edible thing and starts ripping up the carrots and kale and strawberries that never had fruit.

Then Zach brings me a praying mantis in one hand and a toad in the other and excitedly tells me there is a HUGE snake right over there.

"Ok kids, let's get in the car, I think we are finished with gardening for this month."

We take our tortured carrots and handful of tomatoes and basil and hit the road. Back at home I bathe the kids in Deet to ward off the deer ticks and we wash off our harvest.
 (Love those knuckle dimples!)

 (Looks halfway decent!)

 (RUN for your lives!)

At dinner Naia pokes at her carrots. "I don't like these?"
"Honey these are your carrots that YOU planted."
"They look stretchy. I want shiny ones."
"No sweety, you need to eat these. This is what we're having with our dinner."
"No, they're scary. I am going to throw them in the dirty water."  (this is her new thing. anything that is not to her liking gets metaphorically and sometimes literally thrown into the "dirty water")

Ah, yes. From farm to table. That's us. So, who wants to go fishing?
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