I planted a garden – again


At first, I wasn’t going to plant a garden this year. Last year’s disastrous “Taste of the Sahara,” with weeks of no rain and temperatures topping the 100-degree mark, left me lukewarm about trying again. Recalling the straggly ruins at mid-summer – everything brown and dead – did little to dissuade me.

But last week winter’s lingering chill relented, it turned warm, and the smell of spring wafted through the air. Then I thought of tidy rows of green beans, sugar peas, squash and tomatoes red and juicy.

I wavered.

Then, a friend with a tractor offered to plow the garden for me. “It’s going to be a great year for vegetables” he said.

I relented.

After he left, I took a look at the freshly plowed garden. I reached down and took a handful of soil in my hands and let it sift through my fingers. It smelled sweet with promise, still rich with the compost I had mixed in last year. “A great year for vegetables,” I agreed.

So it begins. First I’ll plant the seeds. Then will come the worrisome routine of checking the weather each morning, looking for weeds and watering when things look dry. Twice a day I’ll check for new growth. When the plants are up, I’ll look for blossoms and then for emerging fruit. I’ll check the inventory of freezer bags.

Why do I do it? Seeds aren’t cheap, and gardens take work. Maybe it’s because when God kicked humans out of the first garden, he hard wired them to plant their own. Then, there’s the gardens of my youth. Dad plowed, Mom planted, my sister and I pulled weeds, and we all enjoyed the harvest. We did it every year.

The funny thing is, if everything is good, I won’t even remember last summer.