Soon to be renowned!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Great Wall of Fencebroke

Slashing the Earth in Twain
It arose seemingly overnight. Where once only a gentle slope separated the fertile plateaus of Fencebroke Promontory's farmland from the untamed valleys below, now stood a mighty barrier wall. Towering three bricks tall in places and stretching from one horizon to the other, the looming edifice erupted from the very earth to set in stone the boundaries of natural law. On this side crops would grow; mouths would be fed; civilizations would flourish. On the other: the tribes of chaos.

Though no one could explain its creation, many would try. Tales were spun and carried down through the years, each proclaiming a different motive force, a different mind, a different hand stacking fired red clay to divide the land. All these naught but woven lies, born of fear and ancient distrust.

“Can't you see, the wall was placed to guard our crops from jealous, lowland barbarians. Thank the gods, we will be safe up here amongst the rutabagas, for no siege could ever topple our massive, mortared fortr—eh, what's that? They didn't use any mortar? … Oh. Well, still … no invading force could ever overcome the … uh, massive psychological barrier of our imposing—though admittedly fragile—wall!

And dissenting lore from the other side:

“Clearly, the gods saw fit, at long last, to halt the marching empire of the produce. Each year, they spread into our territory, taking more and leaving us less. But no longer! This backyard will not belong to the carrots! Thank the gods, the cancerous garden has been forever banished behind this impregnable wall of mortared brick and—oh dear … did that one there just fall over? I see. Well … so long as no one … uh, bumps into the impregnable wall, we should be reasonably safe from the imperial veggies. Could someone put that brick back, please?

Though neither side could ever truly grasp the motivation of whatever all-powerful force erected the Great Wall in such haste, there was one one matter upon which they agreed: the wall itself was of poor quality. In recognition of this undeniable truth, an accord was reached to the satisfaction of all parties, wherein no roughhousing or shenanigans would be tolerated in the vicinity of the wall—lest the beloved, timeless monolith crumble from the glancing impact of a stray soccer ball or paper airplane.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Year End Review, or, At Least the Fence is Still Standing

Don't get me wrong, it's still broken, the fence. But while it may be listing in spots, rotted in others and individual boards may have defected in the night like cowards, the fence is, by and large, still there.

And that, I'm sorry to say, counts among our notable achievements for Fencebroke's 2014 gardening season. Additional triumphs include: buying a wheelbarrow and eating tomatoes. Rather a lot of tomatoes, if I recall. The fact that a lot of tomatoes grew to be eaten at all was in itself a triumph, but here the credit must go more to an unusually favorable growing season than to our own efforts. These same ideal conditions led to a bumper crop of unappetizing, difficult to prepare but aesthetically appealingin an alien spaceship sort of waysummer squashes. I don't know if that's an achievement or not.

In evaluating FPG's performance (which graded out at a solid C/C-, for those seeking a touch of arbitrary pedagogy in their garden bloggery), such factors were considered as: planted vs. successful crops (one wormy rutabaga doth not a stew make); percentage of beds/edging torn up in frustration; number of free plants successfully shoehorned into the planting scheme; is there a planting scheme?; number of zip-ties used; number of “mulligans” used; number of stumps removed; number of free plants removed from the planting scheme; stop taking home free plants from work; number of trips to the ER/urgent care; percentage of projects resulting in trips to the ER/urgent care; calm moments of grateful reflection vs. calm moments of grateful reflection interrupted telling Daisy not to eat dirt; tools lost; toys lost; plant-tags lost; patience lost; focus lost; look—a hummingbird!; number of laps run by screaming toddlers; remonstrations not to play in the bird bath; OK, fine, play in the bird bath; vines trellised; vines admonished; vines punished; toddlers trellised; toddlers admonished; footballs thrown vs. frisbees thrown; wading pools inflated; leaves crunched underfoot; stolen moments in the sun …

OK, this year wasn't so bad.