Lucky is as cute as they come. About as big as the boys can carry, he’s in heaven with these two, giving both a run for their lives! Better yet, he’s totally harmless when it comes to the garden. This boy has a leash when outdoors allowing him far enough to visit the neighbor dog, far enough to visit the playset, but NOT far enough to hit the garden. Perfect!
Unfortunately, this beast we discovered is not so harmless. Worms can eat through a tomato plant in no time flat which is why it’s so important for you to make daily visits to your garden — even if you don’t have any business there for the day. You’ll spot the damage right off when you notice stems sticking out from your plant, leaves missing. It’s not pretty. But it can be stopped.
I don’t know exactly what type of worm this is — tomato hornworms are usually bright green — but it’s been busy eating Mandie’s tomato plant. Bad. Take him off and dump him in soapy water or dispatch him to heaven the old fashion way — heel to the ground mash.
It was tough for the boys to see. Mandie supports a no-kill lifestyle (that’s how she ended up with Lucky, in fact), but if you want to grow tomatoes, the plant must survive. Otherwise, sign up to be a compost-only home, cause that’s what you’ll get with this fellow around.
On a brighter note, the boys learned to swim for potatoes from none other than the resident expert — my son!
He showed them how to dig in and get dirty to find the prize buried below. It was quite a show watching these boys in action. Even mom helped clear away the dirt to find the gold, making it all the more exciting by announcing each and every time she hit “poop” instead of potato. Does this woman use good compost or what? But Mandie’s fun that way. Likes to mix it up, if you know what I mean.
And yes, like any good mother would, she made sure the boys washed their hands afterward. Poop is fabulous food for plants, but not for boys.
But germs aside, the guys had the time of their life swimming for potatoes and their expression when they found them — amid the squeals of thrill — was, well, priceless. They were awed and amazed to discover these beauties coming out of their garden and soon to be appearing on their dinner plate! Mandie wasted no time in washing and prepping this harvest for the evening meal.
All in all, it was a great day in the garden. Hard to beat family fun combined with fresh home cooking. And I do mean fresh! THIS is the way we were meant to eat.
So the next time you’re wandering around the produce section of your local grocery store, remember how much fun it is to grow your own vegetables and how much safer it is for consumption. When you know what’s going into your child’s body, it makes a parent sleep better.
And if Mandie has time for a garden, anyone has time for a garden. If you don’t want to go it alone, consider a co-op with the neighborhood. To give you an idea of time demands, my garden is approximately 40ft. by 70 ft. and I average an hour a day. But mine’s big. (Forget domestic engineer, I’m a domestic farmer!) If you share the job with a few friends and scale your ambitions down to something more reasonable than mine, you might surprise yourself.
After all, is an hour a week so bad, when you’re talking results like these?
Nah, I didn’t think so.