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  • Writer's pictureJohn R

It's Going to Be a Scrumptious 2021

As 2020 rushes toward conclusion—and not a moment too soon—I thought it a healthy exercise if, rather than dwell on the schiddy, I reflect on the good things that happened in our garden space this year. We are replete with schiddy things, to be sure, which in terms of blog subjects constitutes low-hanging fruit. (A point of clarification: We do not have any real fruit in our garden save currants from our flowering currant bush, and trust me, you’d rather eat litter box sand than one of our mealy little currants. I know, I tried and my first thought after spitting out a dozen or so experimental currants was that I needed to cleanse my palette with a refreshing handful of unscented Tidy Cats.)

But yes! Good things did occur in our stately outdoor pleasure dome during 2020!

Exhibit A: an especially toothsome bowl of organic oatmeal topped with equally organic toasted pecans, dried cranberries, and low-fat yogurt, enjoyed on a warm summer morning on the front stoop. Nothing in this delightful repast came from our “garden,” but having breakfast outside in the sun is one of humankind’s most rewarding experiences and I humbly recommend it over other pastimes, such as consuming dispiriting news de jour.

You might be tempted to look at the background of the oatmeal photo and think, Hey, that garden isn’t so bad. But let’s be honest, the flowering purple things are catmint, Nepeta, a plant that’s virtually impossible to un-grow. Believe me, we’ve tried. It keeps coming back like an unwanted relative who announces they’ve decided to make a long stay in your guest room an annual event. The orange flowers are California poppies, Eschscholzia californica, and having those is about as remarkable as having socks. It’s another flower that will appear, unbidden, season after season. If you have some spare time, try saying Eschscholzia californica five times fast. It can't be done.

Exhibit B: A lovely plate of five-grain French toast with chicken apple sausages (organic, did you really have to ask?), sliced peaches, and punctuated with fat blackberries over a swirl of pure maple syrup, all enjoyed in the shade of our backyard patio. I wish I could say the fruit came from our garden (I suppose I could say it, but I’d be lying). That beautiful fruit came from our friends’ garden and every year they gift us with large amounts of fresh produce, mostly because they’re good, generous people and partially because they feel sorry for us knowing there’s no way in hell that anything scrumptious would survive an entire growing season on our property.

Ah, but Don’t Weep for Me, Arugula. I’ve got big plans for our 2021 garden. I’m thinking organic egg omelets, fragrant with fresh basil and oregano and graced with paper-thin slices of heirloom tomato. I’m letting our friends know of my goals so they can make sure to plump up their chickens and plant the herbs and tomatoes. Next year in our garden is going to be especially tasty!

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