Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Story of a Carrot

A couple of years ago, when Aaron and I were still living in a townhouse within the city limits of Seattle, we decided to take our first stab at urban gardening. The rental that we were living in didn't have a ton of space outside, but there were a couple of small raised beds on the edge of a patio area. During our recent forays into cooking, we'd grown exceedingly excited by the idea of food fresh from the garden and had plenty of blind optimism regarding the ample success we would have with growing our own veggies.

Okay, so the blind optimism was just me. Aaron grew up working on farms and knew better. But, like the good husband he is, he humored me.

So, we scampered off to our local nursery and bought some seeds for green beans and carrots (the two vegetables Aaron had successfully convinced me were edible at that point). We spent a hard afternoon tilling up the clay-like dirt that resided in the raised bed we had decided to use, planted our seeds, and waited.

I was ecstatic the day I saw the first seedling sprout and crushed when an evil slug tried to lay claim on it. Digging through the recesses of my brain I remembered that slugs like beer and tend to drown in it. And that they tend to avoid marigolds.  Before long we had a nearly impenatrable anti-slug barrier of beer pools and marigolds surrounding our baby plot. SLUGS SHALL NOT PASS!

Only one green bean plant survived and a tiny little row of carrots that eventually became only 2. In a burst of over-eagerness (which I'm sure no one would suspect I'm prone to) I harvested one of the carrots while it was still hardly even grown and barely yellow. In my naivete, I attempted to re-plant it, but I was soon forced to mourn its loss. I was down to one small green bean bush and one surviving carrot.

The green beans made a valient attempt to become something useful. But upon harvesting the grand total of 8 beans that the bush was able to produce, we found them to be unfortunately bitter. All my hope rested in the one final carrot.

Autumn came and I started to worry about frost killing whatever hopes I had left, so in early October, I finally harvested the final rewards of our hard year of urban farming:

Yes, that is my house key.

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