Peace in the garden

Doesn’t this look like a peaceful scene? Somewhere you could walk out, take a deep breath, enjoy the promise of future tomatoes? All of these are sungolds, a mighty tasty cherry-type tomato.


But evil lurks within that peaceful scene. Can you see it? A closeup might help.


Those are hornworms. Left to their own devices, they can wipe out entire plants in no time.


We pulled about two dozen off the sungolds. I was getting a bit creeped out by squishing them, so we started dropping them into this flat instead.


I’m aware that critters need to eat. But these critters do not belong on these plants. No way.


Since we don’t use the commercial pesticides, and I wasn’t about to grind down on these things any further, there was only one thing to do.

Fiery death

In mythology, fire is often seen as a cleansing device. That’s how I viewed this.

Fortunately, although they did quite a bit of damage…

Worm damage

…the plants are mature and resilient.

Sungolds May 18 2008

We’re still waiting for the first ripe fruit. Patience. Patience.

Good day

Pepper flower

Almost any day is a good day in the garden, to be honest. The sun, the breeze, the dirt ground into the lines of your hand that won’t come out for days, accidentally leaning into an anthill, the sweat dripping down your brow into your eyeball and stinging – it’s all good. Because when you come right down to it, you have to ask yourself: is what you do while you’re out there worth all the toil you put into it?

Ladybug, ladybug

People have a variety of reasons for gardening. For some, it’s a reminder of when they were younger and their parents (or grandparents) had gardens they tended: a mixture of family tradition and nostalgia. For some, it’s about self-sufficiency and about being kind to the environment. For others, it’s about eating local – incredibly local – and feeding others. And for most, it seems, it’s some kind of combination of all of those things, to varying degrees.


I know it is for me, anyway.