Everyone but me is successful at growing vegetables — at least it seems that way. I hear people talk about their heirloom tomatoes and their exotic cultivars of chard and radishes and how they cooked a mess of green beans for supper last night. Well, here’s the extent of my “crops” for the year:
The potatoes in the vegetable drawer sent out these gigantic pink shoots before I realized it was happening. Admittedly, I don’t cook as much as I used to, but was still shocked to find such long, healthy shoots growing in the cabinet. I started to use this photo on an Easter blog post but figured it might come across as sacrilegious. Anyway, this is the sum yield/production of vegetables at my house.
Main reasons why I can’t grow anything but potato shoots:
1. Deer (as many as seven on the property at any given time) 2. Voles 3. Moles 4. Rabbits 5. Squirrels 6. Chipmunks 7. Assorted predatory insects and caterpillars 8. Steep hillsides 9. Not enough sunny areas to produce healthy crops, even if reasons 1-8 didn’t thwart the process.
Even herbs (other than basil and spearmint) won’t grow. The soil is so loamy and fertile it keeps Mediterranean-type plants too moist and spindly. Trees, shrubs, and wildflowers love the soil and shade — just not herbs or most vegetable plants.
Here are some ways I could compensate:
- Grow lettuces in a giant teacup.
- Wear one of Julie Rothman’s temporary tattoos of a carrot or tomato on my arm. People might assume I grow vegetables, or that I’m a big fan of eating them.
- Get a scarecrow or two, like these at Sunny Point Cafe in Asheville. The deer would be undeterred probably, but the neighbors would believe we’re busy growing vegetables over at our house.
Oh…. I think I’ll just go sit down …. maybe make a list for the farmers’ market or the grocery store. I’ll remind myself of all those long, hot days spent hoeing vegetables when I was growing up. I’ll remember why buying them sounds so appealing right now.
Maybe a friend will take pity on me and offer some homegrown heirloom tomatoes. It’s hard to find a good tomato, you know.