Thursday, May 26, 2005

Good Intentions

Oh, look, an article about "Friend or Foe", like needing weeds.

Arguably I put up the rest of the pea jail. Arguably because it could use a few more “bars” but I’m unlikely to get them for it myself. We’ll have to see if that is enough support or not. They are blooming.

And after I did that, I took our very nice Amish hoe and took down a few of the weeds. And I remembered a story about my grandfather. You see, he was a carpenter (that’s how he got most of the money that supported his family), a farmer (that’s how he fed his family), and a preacher (his calling).

He had the prettiest gardens. I remember no weeds. He kept a Merry Tiller and a hoe both in good working order keeping the weeds at bay. But then he got too sick to have a garden. Knowing that a gardener without a garden dies just exactly like a plucked weed, we put in a garden for him. I was probably around 10 at the time. And my mother was a social butterfly with other things besides hoeing to do, and so the garden we put in for him got worked maybe twice that summer. And it was full of weeds.

Oh, but when it came time to harvest, we had a bunch of stuff. In particular, I remember digging the potatoes and having them in boxes in the trunk of our car. My mother was so proud. “Daddy, you have to see this one!” and she held up a monster potato, large as two or three fists but pretty and without blemish. Papaw looked at that potato, then at the rest of the stuff in our trunk, and he said, “I’ve wasted my whole life hoeing,” shaking his head.

Of course, he didn’t really mean it. He’d loved every minute in his garden, and no doubt it had kept him alive that long. But as I put my hoe to the weeds in the pea jails, I thought of that.

Weedless is not a state we aspire to. For one thing, weeds come in on the manure. For another, the root systems are good for the soil bacteria. ANY root system, weed or veggie. ANY vegetation that breaks the fall of the rain before it hits the soil prevents erosion, weed or veggie. Add that lots of weeds are edible. Why would you want a weed-free garden?

But weeds CAN get out of hand. Just ask us about the year we brought in cow manure that was infested with burdock seeds. It took us years to beat them back into almost submission. Or the years when I just stayed out of the garden after a certain point because I couldn’t take the jungle of it, the out of control of it.

So I took a few weeds out. More will come. Ours is not a weedless garden.

My grandfather’s favorite saying? “The path to hell is paved with good intentions.”


justrose said...

I love that saying too.

Lost said...

I got LOTS of dandelions I can send you LOL