Sep 11, 2010

Farmers: On Your Marks, Get Set, Gooooooooo

Well, I've done all I can do, short of a few last-minute buffings and fluffings that will have to wait until the sun comes up. My garden is as ready as it can be for today's Backyard Farm Tour. The pigs are washed, the barnyard is vacuumed, and fields are newly laundered and pressed. The girls are dusting inside the henhouse and the worms in the worm bin are arranging the shredded newspaper for best viewing. My only comment at this point is -- to quote the Cowardly Lion,

"Somebody talk me out of it!"

There are 20 gardens on the tour, most in actual city yards, along with a couple of community gardens, one restaurant garden, and one elementary school garden complex. I wish I could go on the tour myself. We need a round-robin garden visitation period for the garden owners so we can see what everyone else is doing.

In my imagination, everyone else's garden is weed-free and neat as a pin. Our local garden club recently held an Open Garden at a neighbor's home, and I was amazed (and intimidated) by the absolute neatness and landscapingly brilliant perfection of her flower garden. I don't mean that as a criticism -- it was a beautiful and inspiring garden. But in comparison with my small, out of control vegetative jungle, it was quite daunting.

After the last few days of full rampaging cleanup around my place, both by myself (beavering away in the backyard farm area) and by two wonderful manly helpers in the front, nativey plant area, things are looking a lot better -- perhaps the best in years, in terms of getting ALL the weeding done at one time (never before in recorded history). Still there are things I wish looked better, or that are still in the 'mid-project' mode. But with only 5 hours left before the first tourist walks down my driveway, I know I'm not going to get everything done. Regarding that, I do have a couple of reassuring thoughts. One is an old Chinese proverb that I cling to, year in and year out, when I find myself measuring my garden against my own impossible standards of orderliness, perfection, and diligent, timely execution of all Must Do tasks, and of course, coming up sadly short, and that is:

"A good garden may have some weeds."

I need to have that on a plaque for the garden.

The other thought is, hey, this is a backyard FARM tour. Every real farm I have ever visited has more than 'a few' weeds -- in addition to animal manure and other unspecified and oftentimes smelly debris lying around, there is always a certain amount of miscellaneous stuff spilled and sprouted and springing up everywhere you look. In fact, if I want this to be a real 'farm' perhaps I need to spend the rest of my morning making it more farmlike -- dragging in a rusted tractor or ancient car body, possibly renting some sheep or goats for the day from a (real) local farmer, or at the least, stacking some twisted rolls of old chicken wire in a back corner.

Yeah, now I'm feeling better. I'm ready. Bring on the hordes! Me and my garden are ready and waiting. Wish us luck.


  1. Just be proud of all you have accomplished. I know I am.

  2. Hi;
    I'm quite positive that your lovely garden will be the highlight of the tour. The garden's gardener is generally the only one who notices those pesky weeds.