My Garden Now Has Its Own Address

My cousin asked me what I did about bugs in my new 12×25 spring garden plot.

“I don’t have bugs,” I replied, my brows knitting together quizzically.

God love him, he didn’t point out my naiveté and I learned the hard way that it takes a while for the bug population to recognize your garden plot as an address.

My plot went on the bug radar over the summer.

By the fall, my poor little garden had become one of the most popular landing strips in the neighborhood. The bok choy looks like a rabbit, raccoon or opossum stood up on its haunches, aimed a sling shot down the row and shot holes through the tops of all the bok choy. Why couldn’t the critters pick out one or two bok choy and gnaw them to the ground? Why all the splashy holes?

The cherry tomatoes, sigh, are under attack by tomato horn worms and two other unidentified assailants. What are these ant-like things with red bodies [click photo for slideshow]? How about the bugs wearing medieval armor (please note the miniature black bra on their orange backs)?

What’s the solution? Do you plow up a new plot of ground every season in an effort to thwart the air traffic controllers of the bug and critter kingdom? Yeah, yeah, I know I should be grateful that I’m picking tomatoes in December but I long for the Better Homes & Garden perfection of that spring garden.

Cabbage Envy!


My cabbage is heading up. I had a bad case of cabbage envy last January when I discovered that my neighbor with the bees, chickens, and the dog named Chance, had grown a winter vegetable garden. His cabbage were the most beautiful I had ever seen because I’m a fan of those dark green leaves that you never see in the grocery store.

Not particularly fond of cabbage, he gave me a few and I kept going back for more while promising to grow my own in the fall. Other than lettuce and bunching onions, I had not attempted a fall garden because Momma said it wasn’t worth the bother. I should have known. She’s been famously wrong before. She couldn’t have possibly been more wrong about the spelling of Wednesday back when I was a first grader.

Following my neighbor’s example, I now have bok choy, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, Chinese cabbage, collards, onions, radishes, radicchio, shallots, sweet potatoes, turnips and cabbage in my garden.

I first told a close friend about my cabbage heading up and she asked, “Do they head up by themselves?” I don’t know what she thought I could do if the cabbage failed to cooperate. Point a gun down the row of cabbage and bark, “Head up or else?”

Her question and a few of my own batty questions sent out to the internet demonstrate just how far we have separated ourselves from our food.