Friday, May 15, 2009

Playing in the Dirt

Everybody is crazy for gardening around here. It started even before Michelle Obama’s victory garden, and it seems to be gaining steam. This morning at coffee folks were actually talking about how paying $120 for tomato cages is a good deal.
It is rather romantic and patriotic to think about the good food you can get from the soil under your feet. We care about the soil the grapes come from for our wine, and we hear it is healthier to eat organic fruit and veggies grown locally. So veggie gardens in our yards, instead of water-hungry lawns, seem like an ideal summer project. The trick (as always) seems to be how to keep it simple – hence the heated discussion over tomato cages. And that’s before you even get to the war against snails and earwigs. I have a darwinian approach; no designer equipment or pricey sprays. The toughest will survive. But admittedly, we have a pretty fancy watering system.
The best news is that gardening is darn good exercise, especially the bending over and digging. Personally, I love the digging. It is therapeutic – digging down to the essence of the thing, beyond the surface. Yes, I’m odd. But a publisher friend loves the rototilling part — exposing all the soft, fertile earth, getting rid of the rocks.
You can find your own favorite part of the garden experience.
It might be the wine, goat cheese, fruit and crackers you enjoy as you rest your back and savor the results of your labor. For some reason, a gentle wine—maybe a sauterne or chardonnay seems to do the job.
Cheers to tomorrow’s tomatoes!