Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

April 13, 2013

You are what you plant

We have a big garden. A huge garden. I only wish that it was outside the house. And in a few weeks, when it is warmer, it will be, but right now there are bedding trays of tiny plants and seed catalogs in almost every room covering every flat surface. It looks like a vegetarian hoarder exploded in our kitchen. Since it’s like this every spring, you’d think I’d get used to it, but I’m still not. I told Sue that they have this new thing called outdoor gardening, which only got me a withering look and a smack with a Johnny’s seed catalog upside the head.

Sue grew up in farm country; I grew up in supermarket country. The only thing I ever saw my mother grow was an avocado pit. She’d stick a few toothpicks in it and suspend it in a tall glass of water on the windowsill. It didn’t seem to matter what time of year it was -- we’d get to watch a miracle of nature as it slowly grew roots and sent up a shoot.

When it got about two feet tall and she realized that it was getting too big for the window and would never live outside, it would go in the trash along with the percolator coffee grounds, the empty Spam cans and the newspapers.

City people didn’t separate their trash back then, it all simply disappeared every Monday and Thursday.

We thought that was a miracle, too, until the ‘70s, when we found out all the garbage was going into the town dump next to the reservoir and was leeching into our drinking water. It only takes one taste of avocado pit, newsprint and Spam water to realize that some miracles are more miraculous than others.

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