jennifer menke (guest blogger) - lamentations of a lax gardener

People are always telling me how organized I am. How productive I am. How creative I am. But I know the truth.

And the truth is not that. The truth is: I make pretty lists. Pretty lists do not equal organized. I wish it were that simple, but it is not. I procrastinate and forget. [Even with pretty lists and computerized alarms to remind me.] I even forgot to write this blog post for nonchalantmom, if that tells you anything.

The truth is: I talk a good game. I find that using big words and telling everyone how busy I am and why I’m always late or forgot about a meeting makes them tend to believe I am more industrious and productive than I actually am. I suppose this also makes me something of a liar...

The truth is: I do cook pretty well... My guess is that when you feed people good food, they tend to tell you anything in order to get you to keep making them good food. Maybe those are the people who say I’m creative? Lies!! Lies!! I know they just want more green curry.

Anyway it’s a delightful little circle. I have no desire to end it. And how, exactly, I got off on this tangent I have no idea... Oh, I know. It was the organized thing and the fact that I’m a procrastinator...

My point about procrastination is that it is sometimes a disastrous trait for a gardener to possess. Garden procrastinations have gotten me in a lot of trouble: Cabbage worm infestations, harvests that didn’t make it in time before the frost, rotting fruit, happy raccoons, etc. But procrastinations also sometimes bring me great reward: like discovering that carrots planted in mid to late summer (because I forgot) mature in early fall’s cool nights and are so much sweeter than any carrot I have ever eaten in my life. Now, I plan them that way! (When I remember...)

Most recently, I wrote about the missed window for planting my shallots on my own site. I was late by a mere five months. [They should have gone in with the garlic in November.] I planted them as soon as I could get them in the defrosting Minnesota ground, last weekend. Things are pretty early this year, even with all the snow, but the idea of putting anything in the dirt in mid March here is beyond crazy. But, I figure, if shallots are supposed to weather a winter, then they should be just fine with a few spring snowstorms and below zero nights, right?

We shall see. We shall see.

So, I readily admit I am a lax gardener. And while I’d like to be more like Martha Stewart with her calendar lists and straight marching rows, I have to be happy that I can even manage a garden at all. My hope is everyone gives gardening a try at one time or another. I was horrible with flower gardening, but seem to be just fine as a veggie gardener. The simple and amazing cycle of planting a seed one day and picking a vegetable months later is truly one of life’s miracles. At least it still is to me.

And I’m pretty jaded, so that’s saying something.

Even procrastinators can have gardens. In fact, I encourage it. It helps flesh out the illusion of productiveness, when really, all I’m really doing out there in the dirt is listening to a great audio book and hiding from the house work. Sure I’m pulling weeds, too, but compared to folding laundry?

You do the math.