Cost to Grow vs Buy

Expanding the garden at my age only makes me appreciate tomatoes and cucumbers at the grocery store. It is so easy to pick from the pile in the vegetable section compared to picking the same item from a vine that you planted and nurtured, watered, and dusted for bugs. (Oops, I wasn’t supposed to say dusted for bugs). If Lovely finds out I did such a thing she won’t let me eat any of the fruits of her labor.

My part of the garden involves digging, spreading compost, and warding off critters with suitable rabbit deterrents such as fencing. The remainder is up to Lovely. She plants, waters, weeds, and shoos away bugs and birds. I have donated two home made whirly gigs as bird deterrents. I don’t really believe they will scare a hungry bird away from succulent greenery, but it sounds good.

My plan to cure Lovely’s ravishing appetite for onions, cucumber, beets, and sorrel is to expand the space she has to plant. This will be the third expansion since we have been together. (When will I learn that only a 100,000 acre ranch will do the trick.) The first plot was a dainty five foot by eight foot area. The second step added a second plot of five by ten, this time I am going ten foot by twenty, an expansion of five times more space. than the original.

Lovely’s Garden

I promise myself not to keep track of the cost of these vegetables because it includes a love factor that can’t be monetized. Besides the more money she spends on veggie plants the more I will spend for flowers in my little world of the Monet Vision.

One Small Room In Grumpa Joe’s Garden

This week, my big accomplishment was to open the pond. That means dredging the bottom of a thick, stinky layer of fermenting leaves, and then re-installing the pump, and pray that is still works. It did, but the whole effort took two days which equals five hours total of physical labor. Each time I went out with a promise not to spend more than one hour, but each time the job required twice that much time. Each day after completing a specific task, I came in and collapsed in front of my computer for the remainder of the day. I once had a boss who said the job expands with the amount of time available to do the job. As I age, this adage makes more and more sense.

I went out of my way to run to PetsMart to buy some fish, and bought two dozen comets that measure about one inch long. Of course, after stabilizing the water temperature in the bag, I let them loose and they disappeared instantly. It’ll give me something to do everyday, that is, to watch the water to spot one. In the past it was two weeks before I finally saw a fish, and they were about twice the size as they were when I released them them. By the end of summer, about five of them will be four inches long and the rest will be much shorter. Come November, when the leaves drop from the trees into Lake Joe, and begin to decay, the process will consume the oxygen in the water, and the fish will die. In the fifteen years that I’ve been raising goldfish in this lake, I have only been able to winter them successfully twice. In my first pond, I never lost more than four fish over the winter, and I never bought new fish, they propagated. The difference is the depth of the water, aeration, and the filtration system. In the first pond I designed and built all the components, and this pond was done by a professional. It might be time to dig it up and start all over with the same amateur design I used for pond #1.

This story began with me whining about how much work there is to expand the vegetable garden, and it ends with a Nova like burst of energy required to rebuild a pond from scratch, It isn’t going to happen, I’ll spend five bucks every year to add new goldfish just like I do with the flowers.

2 Responses

  1. Going to plant some strawberry tops today.

    • I pray you get an enormously delicious crop. When I begin weeding which is this week, I’ll deal with a rapidly expanding growth of wild strawberries.

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