The Vegetable Liberation Front

Earlier this week, before the ground had dried up from the local deluge, I addressed a growing problem at the Morryce homestead: weeds in the vegetable garden.

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To give you an idea, those are recently-freed squash plants on the left and a mass of weeds in the empty corner on the right. Those weeds were EVERYWHERE.

One of these days my family will discover an effective method to tamping down the weed population (perhaps regular weeding for starters), but for now we’re in the collective habit of letting the garden go jungle-mode before one of us gets out the hoe.

Oh! Have I told you how my parents bought me a hoe for my birthday? Yes, it was the running household gag for several weeks. They do have good taste.

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I’ve told you how much I love tomato plants, right?

But back to my story. After work, I stopped by the store to get the year’s supply of gardening implements, because they always go missing between garden seasons. I also picked up a new pair of gloves, as the pricklers are forever ripping mine to shreds. Then I got to work.

I couldn’t convince Nina to join me, so I was alone among the mud and the tomato plants, soon wheezing and covered in green-brown stains.

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It was difficult to distinguish peppers from impostors, especially when I couldn’t remember how many pepper plants Mom ended up getting. A clue: many. So many pepper plants.

No, I did not completely eradicate the garden of weeds. That will take more time, proper knee pads, and at least one more person wielding a long-handled garden fork. And a wheelbarrow with two handles instead of one and a stump. Still, I achieved my goal of freeing the tomatoes and peppers of weeds, cleared up some of the aisles, and nearly died in the squash wilderness.

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Either our squash are doing better than ever or we got a different variety than usual, because these things are HUGE; and not at all fun to walk through with bare legs.

The damp ground was definitely helpful for the most part, and the majority of the weeds seem to have shallow roots. I made great progress breaking in my new gloves and tools and almost managed to do something terrible to my knees.

In all, I spent an hour in the garden. It was the perfect day for it: overcast, with the sunset just coming through near the end and a gentle breeze. Also, the weather has been cool for the past week. I didn’t even break a sweat, though I was decidedly stiff afterwards. And then I took a long shower.

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Our lettuce is doing splendidly this year.

think torching them is my favorite method, but I don’t see that going over well with Mom. With Dad, yes, but when it comes to fire he has to get Mom’s blessing.

Second choice may be vinegar and water, though we’ll be needing a lot of vinegar.

Obviously the best thing would be for me to get into the garden regularly to maintain the fruits of my hard work, but of course that’d make things far too easy.

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