Soon to be renowned!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Hay Hunt

Jump in! Mind the bricks, however.

All right, kiddos, it's ready! Fencebroke's traditional late harvest hay hunt is all spread and ready to dive in! Wooo! Sorry, I get so excited. These are the things that bring out the kid in me. Since the grown-up world has far fewer legitimate treasure hunts than I was led to expect as a child, it falls to me to create little ones wherever I can. It's pretty easy, really, you just have to periodically remind yourself that all of the stress-creased, frantic, sleep-deprived automatons chugging Starbucks all around you were once, not so long ago, wide-eyed children scrabbling for the wondrous caches of candy, coins, and little toys secreted by mysterious forces in stockings, pinatas, Easter eggs, hay piles, and arcades everywhere. The world was pregnant with loot.

Then they grew up and found in those hiding places only lint, runny yolks, and allergies.

So I think we all need a little treasure hunt now and then.

Sure, our tastes change as we grow up, which is why the treasure of the Fencebroke Hay Hunt consists largely of root vegetables and hardy winter greens. I've already found a rutabaga and two carrots! And not to spoil the surprise too much, but there's definitely some heirloom Scottish beet seeds down at the bottom somewhere. Oh, and the big fat earthworms are finders-keepers. But I've said too much.

Rest assured, anyway, there's something for everyone. My daughter loves Kix cereal, so maybe I scattered a box or five of Kix and maybe I didn't. (I did.) And sometimes grown-ups need a bit of incentive to break from their routine and get out there where the treasure is. So maybe I hid my wife's car keys. “Keep at it, baby, what's more important, getting to work on time, or rekindling your childish sense of wonder and adventure?”

Hey, look! Even crows like a good hay hunt. And, uh, squirrels. And raccoons and possums and seagulls and rats and—boy, kids, you better get out there before all the Kix are gone!

A couple ground rules before we get started: the hay itself is not part of the treasure, so no stealing it to mulch your own garden; there is a limit of 1 leek and 1 parsnip per person—those things take forever to grow; and finally, if you find a set of car keys, please return them post-haste to my wife, as I may have crossed a line somewhere in all this hay fever.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


Does plumbing have a place in a garden blog?

How about if we call it “garden infrastructure improvements”? After all, it was the catastrophic failure of the existing pipes which led so some unanticipated, undesired, and all together unfortunate irrigation and … er … fertilization of the grounds. And the house itself, actually. But the plants! The plants don't need this kind of trauma, please think of the plants! Damn the expense, I'll not have pipes breaking willy-nilly and “watering” the garden and laundry room whenever they please. Only the best for my – wait a minute … is this the bill? Hold on, Mario, are those gold pipes you are putting in my backyard? Was the burst pipe radioactive, subsequently contaminating the entire property and requiring extensive environmental remediation? Have you had to do battle with hoards of crab-walking mushroom creatures in order to complete the work agreed to in our contract? NO? THEN HOW ELSE DO YOU JUSTIFY THE SIZE OF THIS BILL!?

I changed my mind, the garden can handle a little unforeseen irrigation. And Fencebroke has plenty of room for an outhouse right there next to the tool shed.