Finally the debate is over. 2007 will not be the Year of the Garden. My husband was pro garden, but I was leaning toward taking a break from our yearly agricultural experiments. We decided to compromise by putting in a small patch of tomatoes and peppers, maybe just enough for several quarts of salsa. Shortly after reaching this amicable resolution, we discovered that something is wrong with the rototiller and the tines won't turn. Fine. That clinches it!
Did I say agricultural experiments? It's really more like adventures in animal control. Let's revisit some of our gardens past. Ah, yes. The year was 1997 and we had just moved to our little house in the country. The farmer kindly allotted us a fair strip of his field next to the house so we could plant our first garden, then we went out and purchased a modest, yet effective rototiller. Using a calculator and several reams of graph paper, we laid out the plans for what should have been a veritable cornucopia of gardening goodness. We put in some cucumbers, tomatoes, and several types of peppers, but the primary crop was to be sweet corn, lots and lots of sweet corn. Week after week, we diligently weeded and watered in anticipation of what looked to be a bumper crop. Then one morning when the corn was nearly ripe, we noticed a couple stalks were broken over and something had gnawed off several precious ears of our carefully nurtured sweet corn. After spotting some tracks left by the varmint, we deduced it to be none other than that despicable, corn loving, scoundrel, the raccoon. He struck again the very next night, only this time he brought reinforcements, because not a stalk was left standing and there was not a single ear of sweet corn that had not been gnawed, clawed, or otherwise licked by him and his gluttonous kin. Round one.