Structure in the vegetable garden
appears in my mind as straight lines and serried ranks, with the
occasional label. And I know this is frailty on my part.
Many years ago, before adequate resources for fencing, a Groundhog waddled
down a neat row of lettuce and selfishly consumed over half the row before
I think of
that groundhog now and I can blame him and his kind for the nature of the
current vegetable garden, which in the cold morning light can be mistaken
for that gated community which is a prison camp. Fences and
Possibly vegetables do not
tend toward the distant horizon, or dream of greener valleys. But to
think of them as not having a relationship with others is an error, and to
place them precisely in straight lines, clearly lacks that part of empathy
central to a more accurate conceptualization of the relationship plants
have with others, and with me.
Here it is not that wretched companion
planting book I am talking about. This is not palm reading for profit.
Rather it is a pursuit of that transitory moment I would follow Heidegger by
calling 'authentic' if that word 'authentic' did not so often produce an
allergic reaction in me.
Better to call it 'glow in a culmination
of moments'. And recall that had we shot the groundhog that so enjoyed
lettuce, turned his pelt into mittens, and his flesh into bolognaise our
vegetable garden today would look very different.
But I still can't think of potatoes as
growing in anything other than rows. I can't put myself into a mental
condition that might accept strawberry plants as not in a strawberry