Deceive myself into what, you ask?
Into thinking I am a gardener, at least of sorts.
I am not. And yet, I keep on trying.
My mother is a gardener. She has a green thumb. As my youngest describes it, I have a green Sharpie with which I try to color my thumb green.
(If you don't have children, I recommend it, if only for the snarky comments they come up with once they become teenagers.)
But as far as gardening, and specifically keeping plants alive, sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Indoor plants have roughly a 50% mortality rate in my household.
I do better with outside plants.
And every year, I try my hand at planting vegetables, envisioning salads straight from a flourishing garden. Generally, though, only one or two type of vegetable actually survives through the summer.
One year, we had a plethora of zucchini. Other years, tomatoes have done fairly well. Last year, sweet peppers.
This year, surprisingly, a couple of kale plants are flourishing. As are several carrot plants …
At least, so I thought.
Carrots have very delicate leaves; they look kind of like ferns and the Central Valley sun is often too strong for them; every time I tried planting them in the past, they ended up wilting. This time, I found a place primarily in the shade and somehow must have happened upon the right pH balance in the soil because they’re doing pretty well.
My daughter is home for the summer and this morning she stepped outside to pick a carrot for snack.
A moment later, she shouted from outside, “Mom, you didn't thin the carrots.”
“I didn’t what?” I honestly had no idea what she was talking about.
She showed me what she picked and told me about the importance of thinning carrots if I didn't want that to happen.
Now, I know I don’t have a green thumb, but my daughter has less gardening experience than I do. In short, all her gardening would have taken place under my not so green thumb, so I was curious how she knew the importance of thinning young carrot plants.
“Farmer Boy,” she told me.
Of course. I should have known. One of the books in Laura Ingalls’ Little House on the Prairie series, in case you're not familiar.
In all honesty, I don’t remember the part about carrots in Farmer Boy.
(I do remember the part about an exploding potato in a fire and, believe me, I have always been careful about poking holes in potatoes before putting them in the oven because of that very book.)
So, I’m not sure what to do with this carrot monstrosity, this tangled web of roots.
But it does look kind of cool.
What about you? Do you consider yourself a gardener? (Or a pseudo-gardener?) What do you tend, and what grows best for you?
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I love this!
Betcha ye olden day farmers didn’t thin their carrots 🥕