I have a confession to make. I love gardening but I don’t actually garden. You might be thinking that sounds strange since I write a gardening blog. The truth is I make my wife do everything in the garden while I supervise. Although we both spend nearly the same amount of time out by the garden I let her do all the digging and bending over. She’s better at that sort of thing anyway. I just love watching her sweat while I wait for those beautiful squash to grow. There are few things in this world as nice as sautéed yellow squash on a summer evening. The best part is I don’t even have to cook it! Before you head to the comments with an angry comment I need to let you in on something. For the last dozen years I’ve been living life in a wheelchair. Hopefully that lowers your blood pressure after reading this far. I have Muscular Dystrophy so my movement in the garden is limited. My chair doesn’t fit between the rows anyway. One day we will have enough room to build raised beds with paved spaces for my wheelchair but not yet. Just because I’m in a wheelchair doesn’t mean I can’t be involved in the gardening process. Having a wife who loves to garden as much as I do certainly helps me experience the joys of gardening. I couldn’t manage a large garden by myself that’s for sure. I’m grateful to her for all of the things and extra things she does for me. She’s stronger than she knows. The garden is OUR happy place.
So what in the world do I do if I never enter the garden itself? RESEARCH. I read and watch a lot of video about gardening. I suppose you could say I’m kind of like the conductor at Singing Squash Farm. When things go wrong in the garden you can usually blame me or our chickens for it. I’m happy to take on that role. Codi loves to make things happen and see the results of her efforts. And we both love to eat fresh vegetables. I think one of the things that has made our 18+ year marriage so strong is our ability to embrace the roles we are best suited to. If it’s very clear one of us is better suited to something why would we fight it? I would love to work side by side with her but until I can I fully embrace my role. I am the one who tirelessly hits refresh on the Baker Creek web site waiting for that special winter squash seed to show “in-stock”. I am the one who throws down my hat when my corn doesn’t get pollinated. If I ask Codi about soil moisture content again she might just throw it at me from the garden. I try not to let things get to that point. When it’s 90 degrees and you’ve been working in the garden for two hours the last thing you want to experience is a guy sitting on my side of the fence sipping lemonade asking if that spacing was correct. At the end of the day we both sit on this side of the fence listening to our squash sing. Gardening is full of ups and downs but it’s worth the effort. If you are drawn to growing your own food or even a flower garden don’t let fear of failure stop you. You can do it!