Word Count: 469
Garden of Eden?
By Peg Scarano
Who wouldn’t want a flourishing vegetable garden in their backyard? Let’s see…probably me.
Let me try to explain. Thirty-six years ago we bought a home with a back yard large enough to accommodate a huge vegetable garden. I thought it was a great idea – it gave my husband a great hobby and would provide us with fresh vegetables over the summer and fall seasons.
However, over the years, this is what really happened. First of all, my husband worked 12 hour days. If I wanted fresh vegetables for dinner, I had to walk back to the bug-infested plot, search on bended knees for the hidden gems and watch enough sweat drip off of my damp, itching body to water the garden until the next rainfall. This was definitely not fun for me.
As the girls got older, he decided they should love his garden as well. So he began training his troops as to how to choose the ripest and perfect-sized cherry, grape or regular tomatoes, zucchini, lettuce, asparagus, carrots, green, red and hot peppers, garlic, cucumbers, basil, pole beans and bush beans, broccoli and beets. Does this sound like a lot of food to you? Let me tell you something – we had enough vegetables in our garden to not only feed our entire street, but probably all of the people within a ten mile radius of our house as well. There was no way we could pick, wash, prepare, eat, can or give away half of our crops. Therefore, it became overwhelming for all of us, except for farmer Scarano.
After about 15 years, I got smart and informed the boss that the garden was after all, HIS hobby, and not mine. I therefore resigned my position as first shift picker and second shift vegetable cleaner. I was so tired of feeling prickly for hours after being in that miserable jungle. I thought it was just me who experienced this particular agony, but after the troops took over, all I heard after a round of picking were three whiny voices in unison, “I can’t stand these pricklies! Make them stop!” I never did figure out which plants caused the terrible itches or how to stop these inevitable prickles that followed even a short stint in the garden. Before long, everyone else turned in their resignations to farmer Scarano as well.
We are now back to only two people again and he is in charge of not only planting and picking, but also the cleaning and finding a place to put all of his bounty until we can get around to eating it or finding enough people who would like to share. I do still enjoy preparing and eating the harvests, but I have left all of planting, picking and prickles in farmer Scarano’s productive hands and prolific green thumbs!