Thursday, April 10, 2014

The heart break of garden farming.

The neighbors think I've lost my mind. There was that time two summers ago when they caught me throwing a brick at a wild rabbit while waving my arms and screaming frantically. (They immediately went inside and slammed their back doors, but hey, that rabbit had it coming. It had sawed off and eaten my third round of pea seedlings). Then today, they caught me standing beneath the swirling cloud of expletives I'd spouted in the backyard, fists shaking, f-bombs flying girlishly from my lips.

I lost the seedlings. Almost all of them. I cursed. A lot. I cried. Yes cried.

That's what I get for buying a cheapy temporary greenhouse for sunning seeds. One perfectly sunny day and blammo. One wind comes through and the whole thing blows over, sending my seedlings upside down, onto the ground. Dead and lost forever.

I'm trying to take it in stride, but I raised those suckers. They were my babies. I lovingly watered them, pricked each one's tiny body from the earth and gently transplanted them into large pots. (Okay, maybe I wasn't so gently, poking them into the dirt with the end of a dull No. 2 pencil, but still). Watered them, and rotated them under the indoor grow lights.

Sigh. But now, they're gone. Forty gorgeous early jalapeno peppers, two trays of lettuce plugs, all of The Nerd's slim red cayenne peppers. The pasilla bajio peppers I was going to grow for our friend Josue as a surprise. The rows of borage and comfrey. The last of the Iraqi Aswad eggplant seeds,the last of the Corne de Chevre heirloom pepers. All of them, caput. Sigh.

What's a girl to do but start over? It's April now, and the last frost date is maybe five weeks away. I've lost a month of growing time, but I'm trying not to let it set me back. It's not too late to start more; they'll just be much much tinier when I set them outside for the summer. Or so I tell myself.

The stakes seem much higher now that I'm fully dedicated to feeding the family, to making a real go at this backyard farming thing, getting more serious about starting interesting, rare seeds by myself rather than lugging home plants from the big box store.

Godspeed, fair seedlings. Until next year.

1 comment:

  1. I just read this now. I'm so sorry Denise! April is such a difficult time for baby plants - it's either too hot or cold or windy. Despite our best efforts, sometimes we just can't keep them alive.