Fool Me Twice

Paul Morrone |

By Thomas Morrone, CFP®, CPA

Fresh vegetables are a treat. For those of you that have gardens, it is the time of year when everything that you planted back in May is growing more than you can eat. In my younger days, I made several attempts at planting a vegetable garden. I did all the right steps. After a couple of trips to Home Depot and the local garden center to acquire the necessary supplies to plant and protect a garden, it was time to get to work. 

First, I would find the right location in a section of the yard that would get just the right amount of sun. Then would come the backbreaking task of tilling the soil and removing the grass, roots, and weeds. Once the soil was tilled and cleaned, some peat moss was mixed into the soil along with some additional nutrients to make the soil nice and fertile. The precious area also had to be protected from vegetable eating critters. The fence posts were strategically banged into the ground outlining the corners of the garden and some middle supports were added as well. Then, the chicken wire was unrolled and wrapped around the posts and secured into place. It was not a big garden, but it was big enough. 

In hindsight, it was a perfect sized garden for a novice like me. When I was a kid, one of my uncles had a huge garden complete with a chicken coop. There were rows and rows of every vegetable and herb that you could imagine. It was his labor of love and he would spend countless hours maintaining his masterpiece. There were always fresh vegetables and herbs. It was more than gardening for him, it was a way of life. He had numerous types of tomato plants. Some were for eating and some were for making sauce. The sauce making was a family affair and that is another story into itself. Stay tuned for that one.

Anyway, back to my garden attempts. With the soil prepared and the area fenced in, it was time to plant. There was nothing crazy in the garden, just your basic tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant and herbs. Enough to satisfy the Italian in me. When everything was planted, I rolled out the dedicated hose and attached the sprinkler head and let the water run. It was rewarding to see the finished product. After some time had passed, the veggies started to appear, and it was fun to pick whatever and eat right from the garden. One morning, I looked out my window and there were several rabbits inside the fence of the garden and having a grand old time eating anything and everything. Of course, I ran outside yelling and screaming and chased them away through the hole they dug under the fence to gain access. The damage was done. It was not a total disaster, but it was bad enough. The garden limped through the season at best.

Not to be defeated, the next year brought another garden attempt. Then, like clockwork, once the garden was producing vegetables, the rabbits sent out messages to all the rabbits in the area to come and enjoy some fresh vegetables. Now I was defeated.

Needless to say, my gardening days are behind me, and my ‘garden’ has been reduced to a handful of basil plants that we keep in pots. The plants get watered every day and fertilized periodically. Cathy makes a great pesto with the fresh basil. We also layer the basil leaves with fresh tomatoes (that we purchase) and fresh mozzarella. Drizzle some olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the layers with some salt and pepper and you have a delicious appetizer. Not a bad deal for having no headaches!

Until The Next Tom’s Take…

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