I'm sure that it's a good thing that I do not need to be a farmer.
I am the gardener in our household. Our yard is too minimal for more than one tree, but one we have. The rest of our dwelling is surrounded by bushes, perennials and whatever annuals I take in to my head to put there. Low care, heat and drought tolerance are the keys. If they need attention, they're not likely to get much from me. And even less from my spouse. He doesn't come equipped with a green thumb. More like a green freckle.
One year at the suggestion of my youngest, we turned the sandbox, which had fallen in to neglect from disuse, in to a strawberry field. No maintenance and we get fruit out of it. Perfect.
Last year, due to unforeseen unforeseeisms, I never cleaned up the necessary and inevitable mess in the yard. Too many things going on inside that demanded my attention so the yard just had to wait. And as spring moved in to summer the dead parts of our perennials became compost. And I felt good about helping the earth, sort of. After all, I reasoned, perennials are just that, meant to come up year after year, without help, without nurture, without me. And one year wouldn't hurt them, would it?
So I forgot they existed.
The rabbits liked it. For a while. Dandelions galore. But then they got large. I mean really massive. Like the kind that could eat New York. But not where my husband mowed the lawn. Just in my part, the garden. The rabbits were too frightened to go near them, so bunny dinner they were not.
That's when I realized I would have to go outside and do something.
I got out my machete and baseball bat, in case of wild animals, like ginormous beetles.
After about a half hour I gave up and decided to let them ruin the earth. Perhaps it would turn in to the Sci-fi thriller, War of the Worlds, where aliens take over after having been planted here ages ago, and then die because they can't handle our germs. After all, winter will come again and kill everything, including 2 foot tall dandelions.
So what does all of this have to do with baking? I've been thinking about growing something this year, besides weeds. Like lavender to put in scones, or our new White Chocolate Dipped Lavender Shortbread. Things that I would use in my sweets. And I'm wondering how much protection these plants require. How often will I have to water and weed them? What natural fertilizer should I use, how much and how often? How much sun, or not, do they need? What soil is best and how large of an area do they need to thrive?
And what happens to them when I forget they exist?
That's when I remember how much I love grocery stores and console myself with the fact that I'm helping someone else grow something. Someone who is not me.