Garden ickies, gardening for good

As my perfect, Romanesque and pointy nose indicates, the weather is getting better.
What that first sentence means is: Because my beak is glowing red like Rudolf’s after baking in the sun all weekend, it is safe to assume we have turned the corner from Old Man Winter Boulevard onto Spring Street. (It is also safe to assume that I need to start putting sun block on my nose before doctors need to cut bits off from skin cancer.)
All that aside ? my smallish city-like garden is tilled; horseradish, garlic and onions have sprouted. I have walked barefoot on the grass and it has felt good.
While looking at the bit of soil that will someday be alive with growing stuff, I had a thought. Actually, I had a number of thoughts.
Garden Thought Number One
I hope the herd of groundhogs that terrorized my garden last year have migrated to the greener pastures of somebody else’s garden.
Yep, you read right, I wrote ‘herd of groundhogs.? We had four or five of those pesky marmots grazing our property last year and they ate all the cucumber and bean plants. Dangblabit!
I am not yet willing to wage war on them ? yet.
Besides getting gopher blood on my hands, if you have a way to keep them groundhogs at bay, give me a hollar.
Garden Thought Number Two
I am willing to declare a holy jihad against the infidels — the garden ickies. What are the ‘garden ickies?? Garden ickies are anything that grosses me out. For example, I hate it when weeding in the early morning, while the dew is still clinging to everything, and I inadvertently grab a hold of and then squish a slug as I pull out an unwanted plant. How do I put it succinctly and without too much hyperbole?
Or, when I pick a pepper off the vine, bite into it for a bit of garden freshness — only to have an earwig scamper down my chin ? GROSS!
I hate those things and I usually set aside my ‘live and let live? mantra and administer death by whatever means is at my disposal — smashing by rocks; gouging by sticks; I have turned an aerosol cans into a blow torches and fried ’em. I know, I know. My karma has been harmed and in my next life I will become what I despise, an earwig. Know what? I don’t care. Those things cannot stay in my garden. Sorry Jesus, I will not turn the other cheek. As that bubble headed booby of a robot on TV’s Lost in Space said, I will ‘crush, kill and destroy? all pinchered critters in my garden.
Forgive me Lord, for I am not repentant.
Do you have an arch nemesis of the garden? Let me know what it is and how you deal with it — maybe I and others can learn from you.
Garden Thought Number Three
Okay, maybe I do have some guilt issues. I say this because I also pondered helping hungry folks with some of the harvest from my gardening efforts. I wondered if anybody (or business) with a little bit of land to scratch, did so and planted one or two vegetables for others, what would happen?
If we all planted a little, could we then take the harvest somewhere to help somebody a little down on their luck? Do such places even take ‘fresh? stuff?
Well ? I called the Food Bank of Oakland County, talked to Robertta, who gave me the number of Bob McGowan — Master Gardener out Clarkston way.
Bob’s baby is the 20,000-square-foot Bittersweet Farms garden at Hubbard and Allen roads. For the last 13 years, Master Gardener wannabes get in their volunteer hours working at this garden. The harvest is strictly to help feed people through the Food Bank.
Bob added, Bittersweet Farms is also a drop-off center for food and that any fresh vegetable is welcome (key word here folks is FRESH).
While that is really neat-o keen, he had another idea that’s really, really good.
Why don’t a group of individual gardeners get together and sell some of their produce at local farmers markets, with some portion of the proceeds to be donated to the Food Bank, or soup kitchens or one of the 200 emergency food providers in the county. Why not?
Clarkston is planning a farmers market. Ortonville, Oxford and Lake Orion, I believe have had farmers markets. Gardening can be for Good (versus the opposite of gardening for Evil).
If anybody wants more information let me know. Also, I promise to write more later.
Hey, maybe I’m not gonna burn in Hell. Maybe there is hope for my karma.
Send e-mails to the man whose soul is still in jeopardy to