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NYTimes.com Article: Garden of Weeds

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  • daddyoat@netptc.net
    This article from NYTimes.com has been sent to you by daddyoat@netptc.net. Here s an interesting involuntary account of no-work farming. daddyoat@netptc.net
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 23, 2003
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      This article from NYTimes.com
      has been sent to you by daddyoat@....


      Here's an interesting involuntary account of no-work farming.

      daddyoat@...

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      Garden of Weeds

      August 23, 2003
      By VERLYN KLINKENBORG






      I don't remember when I gave up. Perhaps I still haven't.
      But so far, this goes down as the summer when I grew no
      vegetables. The potatoes volunteered, and so did some
      garlic and chives and a single cornstalk. Last year's
      radishes did all they could. The blueberries set fruit
      copiously, but all they ask is acidity and mulch. In
      mid-May I spent two weeks preparing the soil, creating a
      fine seedbed in the upper garden and tilling the lower one.
      Then the deluge came. I discovered that I'm a fair-weather
      gardener. I want to plant my garden seeds in rows, not
      runnels.

      Every day the vegetable plots nagged at me. One of them
      still does, its perfect vacant tilth preaching a stern
      lesson about timeliness. But the lower garden has taken
      matters into its own hands. Every weed seed has sent up a
      skyrocket of growth. Mullein spikes tangle with branching
      thistles. A hummingbird browses the jewelweed thickets.
      Bees clamber everywhere, rummaging in and out of blossoms.
      A hops vine has run its way to the top of a column of
      motherwort. The goldenrod is just starting to come into its
      late summer color. The vegetation has locked arms. It says,
      "Keep Out." And so I do.

      This mess reminds me of the true generosity of a well-kept
      vegetable garden. By late August, tomato plants or
      cornstalks or cucumber vines are making offerings
      everywhere you turn, saying, "Here," presenting perfectly
      wrapped packages of ripeness. Compared with the vigilant
      self-determination of a full-grown burdock, a tomato plant
      dangling ripe fruit looks a little overeager. Can a bed of
      mesclun really be as ingenuous as it seems?

      Of course, the tangle in the lower garden is no more
      natural than the perfectly ordered beds of a true potager,
      and no more unnatural. It merely announces the absence or,
      more accurately, the expiration of human labor. I think
      about reconquering that plot, and the thought wears me out.
      But I have a pair of allies who will make all the
      difference. In a week or two, long before the worst of the
      weeds have gone to seed, I'll move the pig house into that
      garden and turn the boys loose. It'll be a joy to see them
      doing what they do best.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/23/opinion/23SAT4.html?ex=1062682912&ei=1&en=7771a275b8a17b30


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