I quit writing about the garden farming for a while because I got so depressed and full of self-loathing and self-pity that it seemed anything I might write would be poisoned with depressing self-pity and self-loathing. Long story short, the weeds got the better of me, and Jon and I went to Las Vegas for two weeks and everything went crazy and mostly died. The squash bugs won. (Fuck those fuckers.) The corn is a bunch of sun-burned anorexic mannequins that refuse to fall. The green beans rotted — I have no idea how/why and don’t care to figure out its root causes. I literally lost my tomatoes and tomato cages in the ragweed. I quit. I quit I quit I quit I quit!
Well, that’s what I thought. I didn’t tell my Jon what was going on, I just moped around our house in my sweatpants and tried out other people’s recipes (cheese souffle, Julia Child’s pot roast, other daring feats from that glorious cookbook, Plenty) and watched The Sopranos and did all the stuff I’ve been putting off, like calling my car insurance company to give them my new address.
And then, one day, I got to thinking about this roommate that I had for a while who was filled with all kinds of literary self-loathing and her sadness was this aching thing you almost wanted a part of because it might somehow make you a better writer. It didn’t, for me, and proximity to her bred contempt. It was very sad but I’m over it, though I’m fairly certain she still hates me and there’s a (self-absorbed thought) chance I’ll appear as some wicked villain in her best-selling novel at some point in our life times. That’s okay.
The point is, living with her and then not living with her taught me that the only thing that gets you out of your own sadness and self-loathing is yourself. You just have to buck up and get over it. Part of that means accepting your own reality and then moving forward from there.
So I did. The garden failed. The garden failed. That’s okay. That’s okay.
Or, at least, that’s what I kept telling myself. In my head. Outside of my head, the reality of that failure still totally sucked and I didn’t want to tell it to anybody else. But I’ve never been bad at anyhting! I wanted to shout to the gardening Gods. I’m good at EVERYTHING I TRY! WHY IS THIS NOT WORKING?
Well, it didn’t work because I didn’t know what I was doing, and because I let every naysayer get to me, and because I was too proud to ask for help, and because we just happened to have a really buggy, wet summer and our fields flooded and there were a lot of other reasons aside from my own short-comings that contributed to the garden jungle outcome.
Alright, the whining’s done. Luckily, I’m starting over with a new fall garden. More on that later.
Here are the end-of-life pictures of that first garden, and the one final sunny product it managed to put out into the world.