Wednesday, September 29, 2010

By The Light of the Moon

In the land of year round planting, it is, once again, time to get some seeds in the ground. Hubby and I have been combing through our seed box, lusting after heirloom vegetable catalogs, and elbowing other eager gardeners at the garden center, trying to stake our claim on the few precious tomato plants that they happened to have in stock. We had planned to start our own seedlings for our winter garden but, well, that just didn't quite happen. And though many of our veggies will be grown from seeds, we did splurge on ready-to-plant varieties for things like broccoli, tomatoes and peppers. We even went out on a limb and decided to try our hand with artichokes. The pokey, spindly little plants will soon grow to resemble bush trees and might even provide a little shade near the chicken coop. Now if only we could get them in the ground....

We bought the starts last weekend. Friday to be exact. We brought them around to the back porch and there they sat, waiting to be planted. My husband is the main gardener in this family. I do my best but my black thumb prohibits me from doing all but the simplest of garden chores. My husband is the main man. He decides what to plant and where to plant it. He rigged up the irrigation system. He fashioned his own homemade tomato cages and trellises when the store bought versions collapsed under the weight of the harvest. He reads books and blogs and message boards all in an effort to make his tomatoes bigger, his cucumbers crisper, his pumpkins rounder. I water and weed and harvest and thank my lucky stars that he knows what he's doing.

But as of late, there hasn't been much time for gardening.  Our winter garden should have been in weeks ago. However, Hubby was promoted at work which is great for his resume, but is putting a strain on his free time. He doesn't have any. He leaves before the sun comes up and comes home long after it's gone down. And yes, I could plant the starts myself but:

1. I have trouble decoding his elaborately diagrammed garden layout in the "Garden Notebook." God forbid I plant the eggplant where the red peppers should be.

2. It's still well over 100 degrees during the day. I find it difficult to drag myself and my kids into the heat of the day to plant. I'm a fair weather gardener. Plus, it can't be good for the veggies.

3. I'd be depriving my husband of a chore he dearly loves. Really. This isn't a cop out. He loves planting and after  11 or 12 hours in the office, all we wants to do is drink a beer and dig in the dirt. Who am I to deny him??

And so....after a ridiculously long day, Hubby stumbled through the door, checked on his already sleeping children, put on a headlamp and headed outside to plant. I followed, bringing him trowels and plants, wrestling the hose to water the newly interred vegetables, but I let him do the dirty work. We gardened by moonlight, not saying much. A wonderful end to a hectic day. And thanks to Hubby and his headlamp, our family will be eating fresh food again in a matter of weeks. Thank God for husbands who garden!

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