A Little Story Involving Some Blasphemies in the Garden

Pulling weeds from the raised beds, I was feeling smug and virtuous for choosing to foodscape. We’ll eat lower on the food chain: more veggies, less meat. And the second week of June is never too early to put in your vegetables, right? I was further congratulating myself on allowing the tiny wild pea vines I was ripping out in handfuls to have served as a cover crop all these months. It had proliferated all through the spring: sweet little legume, enriching the soil with its nitrogen-fixing roots.

When I stood to look at the space I’d cleared, I saw about a billion displaced aphids squirming on the soil. Tiny green sugarbodies, suddenly exposed to the sun. They scuttled for the lifeboats, anything moist—grass blades, fir cones, pulled-up pea roots. I picked these up between gloved finger and thumb and dropped them into my wheelbarrow.

Disgusted, sorrowful, I returned two hours later. Toughen up, I told myself: the food chain never was for the faint of stomach. I spaded in compost and manure and the aphids’ billion sun-shriveled bodies. Mixed it all well. Planted my veg.

O goddess of solstice, O patron saint of sciatica, O receiver of insect souls: please bless my goddamn tomatoes.


7 comments on “A Little Story Involving Some Blasphemies in the Garden

  1. Ha! Farming has never been for the weak of heart. 😀

  2. mlingen says:

    I love your garden story. I too am a gardener, so it really hit home. Mary Lingen

  3. susanissima says:

    Hilarious! It is such a maddening/gladdening process this gardening life we live, Jennifer. Yet what a worthy restorative art, like poetry. Just love your posts!

  4. awritersalchemy says:

    Now there’s a blessing!

  5. ningyoprints says:

    The Patron Saint of Sciatica would be a great name for a piece. The Receiver of Insect Souls would be a great title for a horror novel. Love it.

  6. Poetarc says:

    Will have to look for ethicist who writes about the God of pelicans, I think it was, Who presumably is also the God of us. And what it means to give thanks for all creation, while straining at the gnat (or aphid) annoying us in particular!

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