Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gardening gimicks

I read a magazine article about an organic gardener who was a proponent of "The 15 minute a day garden". He claims that he can work his whole garden - all 6,000 sq ft of it in 15 minutes a day. I say - BULLSHOT! Let me ask you this - Mr. Gimmicky Gardener - can you even get out your garden tools and put them back in the shed in 15 minutes? Can you change into and out of gardening clothes in 15 minutes? Do you have some elaborate sprinkler system that distributes your organic pond water at the touch of a button? Do your beans harvest themselves? Or perhaps this article in this gardening magazine was really one of those "special advertising sections" which was really nothing more than a two page info-mercial for your new book "The 15 Minute Garden". I wouldn't spend 15 minutes reading that darn book!

The last three days I spent about an hour and a half each morning in the garden doing various ancillary tasks (weeding, composting, watering, staking tomatoes). Last evening I spent another hour servicing my rain barrels. Last weekend Sarah and I spent about every waking hour of both Saturday and Sunday in the garden. This time wasn't spent on any major garden tasks like preparing a brand new bed or building a cold frame. We were just doing basic harvest, and replacement plantings. Lets also not forget that we spent our evenings last weekend preserving our harvest by making several soups and canning our veggies.

This post is not meant to coax pity out of the reader. I am not a sympathy hound. In fact, my morning gardening chores are so fun for me that I often chose to garden instead of rowing on the river. Our harvesting and cooking work this weekend was an absolute pleasure. It was one of the best weekends of the year! But let's not pretend for a second that organic gardening doesn't take some time and effort. If you are going to do it, you had better enjoy it.

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