Today is Labor Day, which, to me, is a signal that summer is quickly drawing to a close. It also means I will have to pull the cherry tomatoes out pretty soon. Surprisingly, I am actually looking forward to this as I have been slaving away all summer, pruning one of the three beds of cherry tomatoes each week to keep the foliage in check.
Last night, it seemed like Mom was looking for a fight. First, she had my aunt and I head out into the front yard to measure out a path which would lead into the backyard. She did not tell me what to measure and so I assumed it was for the path.
“You’re stupid,” she remarked after I calculated the length of the path to be approximate 50 feet in length. “What are you thinking? It’s so ugly.”
I felt my heart sank as anger took over my excitement. This path was what I had in mind, dividing the yard with a tree planted on either side of the path and the rest would be flowers and mulch. I was going for the xeriscape design. Mom sill wants grass. She said the water would run off too quickly. She doesn’t want to mulch the flowerbeds either, complaining it would have to be replaced annually.
To be honest, I wanted to install a couple of barrels and connect them to my gutters to harvest the runoff from the rain but it doesn’t look it will happen just yet.
On the other hand, I think mom worrying about runoff is silly since I’m mulching the flowerbeds, not pouring concrete on them. Concrete has the fast runoff time while soil or in this case, mulch on top of soil has the slowest.
My path to grass-free landscape feels blocked by mom’s antics at every turn and my actively brewing excitement had somewhat turned passive.
What made me most angry was Mom coming out while I was pruning the tomatoes to yell at me some more. She threw tantrums about why I’m being so stupid wasting my time in the garden, why I’m keeping a bin full of trash (it’s compost), and she dared to say I have been working my butt off in the garden for likes on social media.
“Hello?” I shouted, “In case you haven’t noticed, this is my garden. I didn’t plant any of these cherry tomatoes, you did. I’m just trying to clean up and manage your mess.” She replied she would’ve had let the tomatoes and squash plants sprawl and that just meant she hasn’t been paying attention to what I have been doing. If she had let them sprawl for the past 4 or 5 months, I don’t think there would be an inch of space to work on right now.
Thus returning to the title question, “Is becoming self-sufficient a fool’s errand?”
I don’t think so but mom no doubt does. She would rather I spend money at the grocery store to buy the vegetables and fruits than plant my own.
I don’t know if I mentioned this but I have been finding the food at the grocery store very unappealing lately. It’s mostly because each time I read the label, I’d be finding extra ingredients like preservatives added. You can have it once in a while but long term?
I don’t think becoming self-sufficient is a fool’s errand because growing my own food is actually better as I know what I’ve put in it. The fruits and veggies at the grocery store may be big but who knows what kind of stuff they’ve put in it?
It’s why I’ve made a goal for 2022 to grow as diverse as possible. No more beds upon beds of cherry tomatoes. I will grow the amount I can manage. I shall be self-sufficient in 2022.