Absolutely shocking!

By Helen Row Toews

June 28, 2018 1:50 PM

File Photo

Farmers have long since finished tilling and seeding the land. It’s a wonderful time of year filled with promise of new growth and hope for a season of sunshine, rain and good fortune.
During harvest last year, most farmers were already beginning to calculate what crops would be sown the coming spring. After careful consideration, they chose from the many seed options available, much the same as when we select from all possible varieties for the garden.
We’ve been busy here on the farm too, and watched as the fields turned to a verdant sea of green. My garden, such as it is, has also been sown.
I always admire people with lush, productive gardens. It’s on my bucket list to grow one before I die – but sadly the item most likely to go with me to the grave unfulfilled. Sigh.
My loving son Chris was over last fall for a visit and peered thoughtfully out the kitchen window at my thriving vegetable plot. “You gonna bale that?” he asked unkindly, with a backward smirk toward his mother. After dealing out a well-deserved blow for insubordination, I stood beside him to gaze at the mass of tall, tangled quack grass and assorted thistles rustling in the afternoon breeze. He was right; it could be baled.
I hate when he’s right.
One spring a few years ago, I resolved to make my dream come true. I set aside time each evening to spend on my hands and knees praying for help – wait no – I meant to say pulling weeds.
Remarkably, by the end of July, I almost had the place looking like a snapshot from Butchart Gardens. Diligence was really paying off until I lost ground one muggy day after Tom decided to put horses nearby on the lawn to, “graze it down a little.”
Carefully he strung electric fence just inside the garden perimeter and assured me he would only let them into the area under strict supervision. Spluttering with indignation, I crept beside a row of green beans, angrily plucking stinkweed from the soil and tossing it in a heap.
Slowly I worked my way to the south end. A gentle rain had begun to fall and I glanced up to push hair from my eyes and glare at the huge clomping creatures tearing at grass three feet away.
That move, a sizzling sound and the smell of burning hair were the last things I could remember as I woke up some time later – face down in the radishes.
I’d forgotten the damnable fence! Crawling weakly from the flattened vegetation, I lay on the lawn to recover and comforted myself by imagining the various forms of revenge I could take against my beloved. However, that would require energy and wits.
Having been recently electrocuted – I had neither.
At this time of year it certainly does a heart good to know another growing season is upon us. As for my dream, Butchart Gardens may be a nice place to visit, but I’ll be content with a little fresh produce and less threat of unsolicited electric shock therapy. No horses allowed!

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