Pass on the Peas, Please

pea pod crop

When I was nine, my step-brother, at the wise old age of eleven, said we could get new bicycles by selling garden seeds and he showed me the ad in the back of a comic book. I don’t recall how his end of the business turned out. I clearly remember that my sales started out great, with friends and neighbors buying lots of pretty flower seeds and even some vegetable seeds. But at the end I was stuck with rutabaga and kale seeds or whatever unpopular vegetable, packets which I couldn’t even give away and make not one dime toward a new bike.

Flash forward to me, the retiree, who orders a bundle of organic seeds from an online grower. I already know I don’t like radishes, never have, but what the heck, there is some good stuff in the bundle and these are non-hybrid, unaltered seeds as nature intended, maybe. The first year the only crop to thrive was some crook-necked squash. Aphids ate all the corn. The tomato plants blossomed but not one piece of fruit appeared. The cucumbers were prolific because they were so bitter that nothing would eat them. Some yellow fungus took the normally indestructible zucchini.

So at considerable expense I planted a raised bed with a winter garden (bought the dirt and everything else for a garden as if I were planting on a New York rooftop instead of out here in the country). I succeeded but I would hate to figure up the real cost of fresh arugula and romaine divided by the cost of the 4’x8’ raised bed.

About the peas: I planted the peas in my failed summer garden space early last December. Considering the cost of a box of frozen peas, growing your own is an extravagant waste of time. The aesthetics could justify the time because pea plants are quite pretty. But—the fruit had just begun to ripen when some fairly good sized critter came burrowing into my garden and decided to carouse in my pea plants, many of which now lay broken and dying. I just harvested the remainder and I am pretty sure this is my entire crop.

When will I ever learn?

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