I enjoy working the land with my farmer BFF.
On the phone.
In the divine not-garden of my apartment.
Just 2 days ago i was helping her weed lima beans while painting my nails that stupid not-as-blue-as-advertised color.
Kudos to everyone who grows their own fruits and veggies and herbs or cultivates lovely flowers and bushes and bonsai. You people are amazing.
Growing things is not for me.
I vastly enjoyed a Chia Pet once, but that is the highlight of an otherwise bleak botanical history.
We already know that biting, stinging and/or blood-sucking insects are an issue for me.
Plus my ghostly pale to lobster red in 10 minutes or less complexion.
And the heat.
And the dirt.
And the back-breaking work.
Lordy, the WORK.
But tonight i stumbled upon yet another reason i shouldn't garden:
the plants fight back, people!
The house i am currently sitting has an herb garden in the back and a lovely veggie patch on the side, both of which i have been faithfully watering, which is the one bit of gardening of which i am capable.
The garden is growing right along, bursting with produce.
The cherry tomatoes in particular are really producing lots of fruit; so much in fact, they were starting to look like clusters of grapes. I have been waiting for them to become red, but finally realized that these must be an orange variety as none turned red and the orange ones were so ripe they were falling off of the plants.
So i, as a good and industrious housesitter decided to pick them before they rotted.
It is all about the preparation, people.
I waited until the sun was below the houses, wore long pants and had on my wee mosquito fan.
I was safe to go into the garden.
The tomatoes were so plentiful and ripe that if i pulled one, ten more fell off the vine into vast squash vines that assured that the renegade tomatoes would never be found. A-ha! Holding my container under clumps of 'matoes meant that gravity did most of the work.
There is chicken wire around the patch. My people mcnugget-sized stature (totally saw that on a shirt that made me cackle with glee) was not aiding in the process of picking over the wire so i pulled it aside and entered the lion's den.
Man, there were a LOT of ripe wee tomatoes (too bad i don't really enjoy eating them) and even two impressive zucchini. I was just going about my merry picking way imaging how astounded and proud Rea would be when i told her i worked the land and how the home owners would be pleased as punch to come home to their own fresh harvest when i noticed it.
The backs of my hands were starting to itch a little.
Then they were starting to itch a lot.
Then, cheese and crackers, what is wrong with my hands?
I finished picking everything i could reach without wading into the vines themselves and ran into the house balancing the container full of 'matoes and giant zucchinis on my forearms.
Produce goes flying into one sink as i hit the water and start scrubbing my hands and wrists in the other (don't you love double sinks?) with the closely available Elmo Cherry Berry liquid soap.
Some chemical naturally occurring in the plants (as i know there are no pesticides, etc being used on this garden) was making me itch like mad and break out in crazy red patches.
Damn you histamine!
Double scrubbing calmed my skin down enough for me to be able to rinse all the veggies and get them spread out on the counter to dry.
Then it was benadryl time both topically and internally.
Yes, my friends, i am actually allergic to working the land.
To paraphrase Dr. Ellie Sattler in Jurrasic Park (both the book and the movie): Plants are living organisms that will defend themselves, aggressively if need be.