Greenhorn green thumb
BY JOSH RESNEK
I grew up in a household where we had lovely grounds and more than a handful of exotic flowers and shrubs and mature trees.
My mother liked watching the flowers she planted come to bloom.
My father had an interest in everything about our grounds looking just right, especially the grass, but he never planted anything in a lifetime, and he lived to be 91.
It is said the apples don’t fall far from the tree.
In my lifetime I have never planted anything, not a seed, not a flower, nothing…until last month.
With the aid of my lawyer son, who is cultivating several acres of land in Greenfield where he is practicing law, a small garden was planted in my backyard.
I built the wooden framework, which frankly was idiot’s work, proving I was thoroughly qualified to build it!
My son used the rich soil from my backyard to carve out a garden plot about 200 square feet.
He used a variety of tools, something like a pick axe to break up the soil, his hands to shake the soil free of growth, a shovel to place the soil in the box and then his hands again to do the plantings.
It took him all day to do this.
He looked like he had been rolling in dirt when he was finished.
Like my father before me, I supervised the operation but very quietly so as not to disturb the real farmer in the family.
Inside the box I built my son planted two rows of tomato plants.
I know this is more than everyone reading this needs to know but I love tomatoes, and especially home grown tomatoes others have given me – like my across the street neighbor Eddie. He is in the insulation business, but he and his wife have green thumbs. Eddie not only grows his own tomatoes but grows nearly everything under the sun. He makes his own horse radish. He grows his own garlic, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce and on and on.
Anyway, the tomatoes my son planted were a bit more mature than the seeds and smaller plantings he brought to the house from Greenfield. My next door neighbors, who have a lovely garden, donated a half dozen plants for us as well.
Next to the tomatoes are a row of peppers and what was supposed to be a row of cucumbers, but the cucumbers are looking a bit iffy. My son says they might not work out.
The tomato plants are growing large overnight and my wife has put the framework the plants will grow onto and in the end, hold up the tomatoes so they can be picked – and what a day that will be!
My son planted a row of kale.
The kale is growing magnificently.
I’m not certain how to eat kale although I am told if it is warmed with a bit of oil
and chopped garlic, it’s a pretty good treat and healthy, too.
And there is a patch of potatoes.
The potatoes are growing magnificently.
My son also planted a row of peas and corn, which, he predicts will wrap around one another as they mature and become ready for picking at the end of the summer.
What do I have to do?
I have been ordered to water the veggies every day and to not water when it rains.
Like I didn’t know that!
This season at my house, for the first time in 17 years, rabbits are all over the place.
They are cute as hell, but they like to eat certain of the vegetables – but not all of them.
So, there you go.
This story is for the edification of my many Everett friends, many of whom have grand gardens that are part of their culture for a lifetime in their backyards in the city.
My hat is tipped to all of you who grow your own vegetables!
Kidding aside, it is quite a thing to watch living things sprout out of the earth, although I am told I will have to dig for the potatoes.
Let’s see what happens.