Delusions of a Hopeful Gardener

“The thing is you could eat someone’s entire backyard garden and it would be less than 300 calories so what are we doing here?” — @HelloJessicaFox

A handful of blueberries, picked before they fully ripened, was the extent of the harvest this season. The catbirds and chipmunks got the rest. But at least the tomatoes are showing some progress (until the groundhog determines they’re ripe enough to sample). Sure, gardening is a joyful pursuit, but it’s also folly.

For most of us gardening isn’t as much about feeding the family as it maintaining a connection to the soil. We grow up watching our grandparents and parents harvesting a bounty of fruits and vegetables and somehow we feel compelled to keep the dream alive. Really, who are we fooling? My garden will produce a few good tomatoes, a summer’s worth of basil and mint and not a whole lot more. If I were a settler 250 years ago I’d have starved to death.

Yet we press ahead, planting our gardens full of hope, only to have them dashed by Mother Nature and her cast of flying monkeys gobbling up every last blueberry. We dare not complain should she toss in a swarm of locust for good measure. Live with that handful of produce and count your blessings. There’s always the farm stand down the street.

Still, there’s always hope, and this season I pushed through the challenge of being away most of June and kept almost all of the edibles on track. The season is still early, and there’s still a chance for a bounty of delicious fruits and vegetables… Do you see? The delusions of a hopeful gardener on display.

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