Moonrise 13Moon Digital Magazine Volume 1, Number 8 - September 13, 2015 - Page 20

columnist guest WISHING ON A STAR Lessons Learned from Gardening The zucchini vines looked limp. I stood one vine upright and it collapsed like a rag doll. I couldn’t understand why they weren’t standing up like the others in neighboring plots at the community garden. A flower bloomed but just as quickly, it shriveled up. But I kept watering the zucchini. Thinking they were young and just needed more time. However, my concern grew. I kept thinking something was off just like when my body tells me I’m getting sick, tired and droopy like the plants. My friend Betsy just happened to be out at the gardens one day, so I asked her to take a look. “Stem worm,” she said without hesitation as she shook her head. “You’ll need to pull them all out. They’re all infested.” I felt shock and grief. It was like I was hearing “the baby didn’t make it.” Questions ran through my head, “Why didn’t I see this sooner? Why didn’t I see it coming? Why didn’t I know about stem worm?” As I reluctantly pulled them all out, my thoughts were already on starting over. I found there was a lot about gardening I didn’t know. I’ve spent summer learning along the way through trial and error or Judith Wade with the help of a friend who planted the garden and maintains it with me. He taught me the water sinks in better if you hoe around the plants breaking up the dirt. Zucchini is planted on mounds to allow for expansion. Tomatoes don’t need as much water and most importantly, make sure you work in boots rather than sandals if you treasure your toes. The other thing I didn’t know about was giving up. See there was that choice but that didn’t register with me. Sure there were people who told me to just wait until next year to plant zucchini. But that made me more determined. Not necessarily to prove them wrong, but to reinforce my belief in never giving up even if it meant starting from seed because all