Soon to be renowned!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve

The leaves are down. The rains and wind have settled in. Our brief Northern days are half dusk and half struggling dawn. A murder of crows patrols the low gray sky. Dour little winter birds descend to scratch and pick what little forage a sleeping Fencebroke has to offer.

From inside, windows are gazed through, as upon harvest memories not so long removed. Weeks of apples, a whole heapa tomatoes, cucumbers every day because why not? Meanwhile, the kitchen fruit basket sulks with waxy, bland, store-bought Produce®. That's not fruit. That's not a salad. Enough is enough.

The back door is cracked like a seal on something new. Flanneled morning sorties assess the garden, coffee in hand. The slumber is evaluated, dormancy surveilled. What designs for the new year? What will be come Spring? More coffee. Plans are laid. Dreams are sown. Let's do quinoa! Pickles! Still more tomatoes! A SCALED REPLICA OF THE GARDENS OF VERSAILLES! Okay, too much coffee. But the first dirt under the nails of tomorrow.

And then, like a beautiful and cathartic mailbox angel (you know, one of those) here to grant some small measure of peace to a weary 2016, the first seed catalog arrives. It brings hope and reassurance, that in the coming year, like every other, there will be seeds to plant. And some will grow, and some will not. And that, as always and after all, is life in the Garden.  

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Ten Reasons Not to Buy Twenty Reasons Not To Garden (And Why I Ignore Them All) And Why You Should Ignore Those Reasons Not to Buy It

  1. I just made you read that godawful title for a blog post, which pretty well satisfies any lingering obligation you may have felt to support my creative endeavors.
  2. The cover is such a thoroughly irradiated green that you may have trouble sleeping in the same room.
  3. The book is almost certainly headed for cult-classic status, and you don't want to seem like the kind of person who indulges that kind of pretentious alt-literature snobbery.
  4. After it becomes a cult-classic, it will likely achieve some measure of mainstream success, and you don't want to seem like the kind of person who reads books you can find in the grocery store checkout line.
  5. When people see the book on your shelf, they will probably want to ask you about it, and frankly, if you wanted to discuss books you would have just joined a book club. At least then you could drink wine.
  6. The book is meant to be funny, so if you find yourself not laughing while reading it, you might be dead inside. No one needs that kind of doubt during the Holidays.
  7. What if reading the book makes you actually want to start gardening? Then you're doomed to live out all twenty reasons not to garden I went to such great pains to point out. Trust me, they're not as funny when you're experiencing them first hand.
  8. It costs $10. That's like … two gingerbread lattes. Which would you rather have this time of year, honestly? It's okay, me too.
  9. Yes, it makes a perfect Christmas gift or stocking-stuffer, but what happens when you give a perfect gift? Sure, the person you're giving it to loves it. They'll tear up. They'll thankyouthankyouthankyou. They'll laugh and cry at the same time. They'll be forever in your debt … a debt for which they will secretly resent and despise you for the rest of your life. It's just a silly book, it's not worth that kind of baggage.
  10. How good could it really be? There's not a single vampire, zombie, princess, ghost, werewolf, secret agent, wizard, vampire-princess, zombie-wizard, or secret agent-werewolf in the whole thing.

So after all that, what possible justification could there be for buying my book? Simply put, my friends, the reason you should buy Twenty Reasons Not To Garden is this: it could end up on Oprah's Book Club some day and you want to be the person who's like, “Yeah, I totally read that before it was on Oprah's Book Club.” That's it. For once, don't you want to be the jerk who was ahead of the game? That's what I thought.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Five Kales Summoned

The Five Kales aligned.

It is written:

When the five great houses of kale
Are summoned from every corner of the garden
(And I guess one from the middle somewhere)
In the dead of night
In the Winter cold
Together upon a single altar
Then will the feast of five deliciousnesses begin
And confer to the faithful gardener
(whom many mocked for his steadfast pursuit of kalish perfection)
Fortune and immortality and yumminess.

Call forth the five kales!
'Tuscan Baby Leaf', O mighty dwarf! Say YUM!
'Scarlet x Lacinato', son of two ancient tribes! Say YUM!
'Wild Russian', untamed and unsurpassed! Say YUM!
'Tronchuda Beira', Portuguese behemoth! Say YUM!
'Cosmic', radiant sentinal! Say YUM!

And now, let the five great kales
Be simmered in juices savory
For an epoch
Or until tender and reduced to quintessence
Or about half an hour
And at long last let the gardener
Eat his weird meal

And it was so. And it was good.