I grew my first garden when I was about 10 years old. It was a great garden. I had alot going for me. Plenty of fertile soil, lots of water available, perfect weather conditions all summer, and beginners luck. I was too young and naive to know how much work I was setting myself up for. But by the end of the summer, I had done a pretty good job supplying the family table and I had aquired the nickname of "Farmer Jones."
That was the beginning of a life long love of gardening for me. And I have tried to grow gardens ever since. Though, not all of them have been the same success as my first garden. Not long after I was married, I had a beautiful garden growing when a cold front came through and hard froze my garden on the morning of the 4th of July.
It seemed like when ever I got my garden established, we would have to move and start over again. This was a real set back for the perennials like the berries. I used to joke to my Beautiful wife that every time I got my favorite, the strawberry, going good, we would suddenly have to move. Sadly, it wasn’t a Joke though. We could count on moving after my strawberry patch was doing well.
My best garden was about 8 years ago. That summer, I had plenty of good fertile soil, abundant water, lots of free time to work on it, great weather conditions for gardening, and lots of dumb luck. That year I tried to grow everything offered in the seed cataloges. And everything I planted grew well. Even with our large hungry family, we couldn’t eat everything we grew that year. Yes, even my favorite, the strawberries, grew like they were in then Garden of Edon. But then the curse kicked in and by the next spring, my job made us move, kicking and screaming all the way. There are million dollar homes on top of that garden plot now.
Well, like I said, that was 8 years and two moves ago. Now we live in a desert waste land that won’t grow anything. I didn’t know that when I first moved here. We spent many dollars and many hours on fruit trees, all kinds of berries plants, and of course all the regular garden vegetables. For four years, I have been torturering and killing every kind of plant I could get my hands on. If plants could talk, they would call my yard the death camp or the killing fields. I think the only reason my beautiful wife hasn’t objected too loudly to all the money I have wasted trying to grow a garden here is because she is hoping that I will eventully be successful with the strawberries, which of course will envoke the "Strawberry curse" causing us to be forced to move soon after. Yes, she hates living here.
But this summer has been alittle different. I have scaled back my gardening plans to container gardening. At first, this was a disaster as well. When I finally realized that I couldn’t do anything with this soil to help it, and when I started setting up my containers with potting soil and peat moss from out of the area, then things were different. Now my small container garden is productive and happy. I am once again eating vine rippened tomatoes picked directly from my garden.
And Yes, Beautiful Wife, it is still hopeful that sometime in the not too distant future, my strawberry plants will start to produce, envoking the Strawberry curse, "Forcing" us to move.
But for the last few days, while enjoying the fruits of my labors, I have been thinking about other areas of my life. I have been wondering if there are other failures which I could scale back and put into smaller containers. As I sit here eating this perfectly vine rippened tomato, with juice dripping from my chin, I realize that a small scale success is alot easier to swallow than a large scale failure. And who knows, after the "Strawberry Curse" kicks in and we "Have" to move, maybe I’ll find more fertile soil in other areas where I can expand my dreams once again.