Gardening Intrusion

It ought not to be this way, but I’ll admit I wish this year’s garden would go away and leave me alone just now.  But it persists in nagging at me every time I glance out my window at the scraggly remnants of winter wheat and volunteer weeds and leggy leftover kale. What lousy stewards we have been thus far–because we had to, planting too soon before leaving the tender plants to first freeze, then parch in the heat while we were away.

Now the soil is water-logged around the green-tinged remnants of dead-brown Mortgage Lifters; their replacements (Rutgers I think Ann found at Slaughters) beg to get their roots in soil inside the Gulag Garden fence. What will become of the onions and potato eyes we put in that same cold ground in late April, a month ahead of the soil being warm enough to support growth?

It’s too wet to be in the garden today, even if I could make myself go there. Looking ahead, we have more possible frost next week while the house is full of company–and full of cartons of books–and my calendar has no room for planting the eight varieties of heirloom beans we got this week from Ingrams.

But vegetables will not take NO for an answer. Somehow, we’ll get it done, and today will be a seed in the ground, an invisible investment that will sprout and bloom out of some future calendar’s dark humus of possibility. And we’ll be glad we were called so relentlessly to put our trowels into the medium of time, scooping out a place to plant a garden.

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About fred

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

2 comments:

  1. “But vegetables will not take NO for an answer. Somehow, we’ll get it done, and today will be a seed in the ground, an invisible investment that will sprout and bloom out of some future calendar’s dark humus of possibility.”

    If we just could look at all our pursuits like vegetables! They won’t flourish with procrastination, if they get planted at all!

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