Cappers Farmer Blogs > Old Dog, New Tricks

Our Newest Experiment

Mary ConleyDear friends,

Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Even the richest soil, if left uncultivated will produce the rankest weeds.” Well, my back surgery was unplanned, so after leaving my kitchen garden at the farm a few weeks before surgery, I could only imagine how the weeds had taken over by three weeks after. I tried not to think about the hard work I had put into it; how I planted the green beans during a chilly drizzle one weekend because of a time pinch. I told Larry that our latest experiment would be to see what could survive without a gardener's help.


Upon arrival, we passed what looked more like a bed of tall weeds rather than my garden. Sad.

Larry opened the wooden gate, and we waded through the weeds. Zucchini had survived! And maybe a puny cucumber plant might still make it if the weeds were pulled around it. What the bugs left of the spinach looked more like Swiss cheese, but we managed to salvage some for our Vitamix. Then there was the kale and chard I had planted for the first time. Such beautiful leaves! Exciting! A few beets could be found, and Larry asked me to use them to make a delicious chocolate beet cake. Four tomato and three green pepper plants were searching for sunlight, and, oh! There behind the tall weeds, the green beans were trying to climb up the fence. All was not lost, and I was thankful for every edible thing!

I felt sorry for Larry as the whole place desperately needed mowing again, but down in the field garden, there was good news: Sweet corn tassels were poking out above the red root, the potatoes were thriving, and the pumpkins and squash were alive and growing up the tall weeds! It was far better than we had anticipated.


(My favorite poem by Harry Kemp)

Each day we die a little more;

Stale custom takes its toll:

It is the Unexpected Thing

That brings life to the soul.

Yes, the unexpected thing happened. It looks like we'll have most of our organic produce again this year, and I'm thinking I'll be strong enough to help with the canning and freezing. It may seem unnecessary work to some, but once you've tasted homegrown food, it is hard to stop.

I hope your garden is thriving under your tender loving watch. Be happy and thankful you can take care of it! Now to make some of those delicious kale chips!