When I was a child, my father grew a garden. He grew it for his love and fabulous talent for growing beautiful things, and for the much-needed food, it provided our family. Most summers would find my brother, sister and I spending time in the garden pulling weeds. This chore we hated above all others except maybe picking up rocks on our property and putting them in the big rock pile back of our house. My father still grows a garden and it is a thing of beauty. Lush green plants yield bushels of tomatoes, green beans, beets, carrots, onions, potatoes, and corn. He grows strawberries and rutabaga, Swiss chard and cabbage and a huge variety of herbs. Much of his produce he gives away to neighbors, friends, coworkers and of course his family.
Every year I too attempt to grow a garden. Not only for the fresh vegetables and knowledge that they provide better nutrition but also from some bizarre notion that if catastrophe should strike, I would be able to provide food from our garden. I do not necessarily enjoy growing a garden and as such, my garden never looks anything like my fathers. I have scraggly plants that do not grow and harvests a quarter the size. Nevertheless, every year I make an effort. I till, fertilize, water and hoe-a task I still abhor.
This year has been no different. My father’s garden is lovely and mine rather pathetic. I don’t necessarily mind the difference so much for I have come to accept that it may always be so. (He says it is because he has so much more experience in growing a garden but secretly I wonder.) This year however I am rabidly angry and frustrated. The deer have discovered my garden. I found this out half way through the summer when I went out one morning to pick the zucchini and found most of the beans tops eaten off. After a frantic call to Daddy, I was out with a spray bottle filled with egg water. The problem with this is that you must spray after every time you water or it rains. In other words…it’s a pain in the butt…especially if you have fast draining soil as I do and must water every 2 days or so. A week or so later and a missed spraying and it was the chard and beets. Mowed to the ground. I put up a makeshift fence to no avail. This morning I awoke to find they had moved on to the tomatoes. (Everyone said deer don’t like tomatoes…ha!) There is not a tomato bigger than your thumb left in my garden.
Up until this year, I would have said I didn’t really care what happened in my garden but I now know different. These deer have produced a desire in my heart to commit harry-karri on their souls…and much discomfort for that feeling in my own. I never knew I could have such protective feelings towards a place I have never much liked.
1 hour ago