“You live! You live!” I screamed with insane scientist joy. “Now I know what it feels like to be God!”
Forgiveness. I couldn’t help it.
When I left for NYC earlier this week, I was certain that my little farmer-in-the-dell exercise of growing vegetables and herbs from seed would be for nothing. I expected to find dry clods of earth in the pots I had planted, with perhaps a few withered sprouts, stretching out their little arms to the sun like a baby to its mother, only to be cut down in its youth by its parents’ neglect .
Instead, I returned to Connecticut three days later to find most of my seedling table a beautiful and surprising shade of spring green. It was in contemplating all that chlorophyll fighting against it in the name of survival of the fittest that the dialogue arose from frankenstein, voiced by Colin Clive just burst out of my mouth.
Those were the herb pots. Unfortunately I wasn’t so lucky with my mini greenhouses in which I planted more than 100 seeds along with a lot of hope. In fact, there’s some life – if six gossamer, crooked filaments count as life – showing up over in the onion department. But that’s about it. The worst is the devastation in my summer beans. As I leaned closer to look for signs of intelligent life in those 15 fertilized weed pods, I discovered a sweet stench, the olfactory lovechild of caramel and moldy apples. I leaned closer. Yes, the beans were rotten. In my hubris of creating life where there was none before, I had drowned the seed.
On the other hand, it could also have been because of my seeding skills. The instructions on the back of the seed packet said to plant the beans individually. Certainly these instructions were intended for the common man or the inexperienced gardener (finally I did working on a farm as a kid), I arranged group sex between my seeds, shoving three and four into each sod pod. After all, what are seeds other than desiccated reproductive organs, right? I figured all they needed was a small H2O and maybe a little Barry White and within two weeks there should be a veritable orgy of plants. Instead, you can see the destruction I caused in the photo above. Of course, I could never be a pimp – and my future as a farmer is certainly at stake. At least I have more grist for my new tumbler composter. (Another story for another day.)
Smelly pots or not, I’m undeterred. This morning I replanted the beans and peas (I was rotting themtoo) and took the plastic lids off the trays. From here on, my plants go on command. No instructions, no plastic cover, no overheated kids rooms. I’m gonna bring life to this house, damn it. Even if it kills me.
© 2023 David Leite. Photos © 2013 David Leite. All rights reserved. All materials used with permission.