This year I am like the opposite of Johnny Appleseed — the guy who walked across America leaving a forest of apple trees in his wake.
I walk across my garden and leave a furrow of death and destruction in my footsteps. It’s not my fault. Ok, some parts of it are.
If I had paid more attention to the forecast 54 cauliflowers wouldn’t have lost their lives to frost. If I had watched where I was walking I wouldn’t have stepped on that baby zucchini.
And if I hadn’t let that container dry out one too many times, I would have had a stunning spillage of lobelia, angel wings and fuchsias instead of little spikes of dead bits laying prostate in the dirt.
And if I had investigated the reason behind my hose being stuck instead of pulling harder on it, I wouldn’t have uprooted that freshly planted baby spruce before it even had a chance to wiggle its toes into its new digs.
However, it’s not my fault that our dog invented a game called, “Dig up the seed potatoes” and our cat, not to be outdone, came up with “If the greenhouse door is open make a deposit beneath the tomatoes.”
And I can hardly be responsible for the moose eating the lilac bush or the crows making off with the corn seed. Though, if a certain two hadn’t been so all fired preoccupied with potato hunts and deposit making, well, it’s a good thing I’m not the kind of person who points fingers. Wouldn’t you agree Shoeless the no chase crow cat and Crayola the barkles spud houd?
But I love my pets and I forgive them. I will keep the greenhouse door and the garden gate closed in the future, but I forgive them.
Reading that over I realize that since I was the one who left the gate and greenhouse door open in the first place, thus allowing old Spud Nose and Quick Deposit Cat access I guess that would make those two incidents my fault after all. Sigh.
About the only green things I haven’t been able to kill this year are quack grass and dandelions.
Quack grass is the worst. If you try pulling it up and miss so much as a centimetre of its long ropy root system it will not only live to rise again, but will come back more vigorously than ever.
After years spent digging, hoeing, smothering and other such organic warfare I have come to the realization that quack grass is masochistic. It thrives on torture.
Several years ago I had a weak moment in the aisle of Canadian Tire and grabbed a container of a popular weed killer off the shelf.
Sweat glistened on my forehead as the transaction went down. I shoved the five dollar Canadian Tire bill and change into my pocket and ran to my vehicle, tossing the bag on the seat beside me, my hands shaking so hard I could barely get the keys in the ignition.
Obviously I exaggerate. I only received fifty cents back in Canadian Tire money, not five dollars.
Some claim products with glyposate are safe as table salt, while others blame its liberal use for all kinds of human health issues including Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Attention Deficit Disorder and miscarriages. A study done at the University of Pittsburgh back in 2005 claims products with glyposate, such as Roundup, are deadly to amphibians.
I don’t know who to believe, but I do know that table salt doesn’t tell you to wait 30 days after sprinkling it on a tomato before eating it.
That weed killer I rushed home years ago is now in our storage room, still unopened. On days when the quack grass is gaining ground I take it down from the shelf and stroke it like an ex smoker caressing a carton of Player’s Light.
But mostly I treat it like nuclear waste. I can’t just throw it away and let it end up in the landfill, but I know I could never enjoy my own fresh garden produce again if I unleashed it in my garden.
So it looks like it’s destined to be with me for life. I may have to put something about it in my will. It will be like Great Grandmother McKinnon’s heirloom quilt, passed down through the generations, only opposite.
Shannon McKinnon is a humour columnist from the Peace country. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org