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A Nice Day To Plant—Then Till

ILLUSTRATIONS BY MARILYNNE ROACH

I remember that day. Blue skies, warm sunlight—it was perfect for planting the family garden.

I started on the south side of the vegetable patch, seeding rows of various kinds of beans: some old standbys and some new ones to try. I had only one set of stakes and string, so I moved them along as I did each row.

My next row was a wide one—with hills of melons, squash, and cucumbers. By now I was on a seed-planting roll. I didn’t want to take time to set out my tomato starts, so I left space for them and went on to corn. There were many rows of corn, early varieties planted south of the taller late plants that would provide the main crop.

By now, the morning was over. It made sense to transplant the tomatoes the next day when clouds were expected.

I felt pleased with myself as I drove to pick up the children after school and take them to their piano lessons. Afterwards we returned home, and I noticed my husband’s car in the garage, but he wasn’t in the house. I started supper. When he came in and I asked what he’d been doing, his answer shocked me:

“I was putting the tiller away. It was such a nice day I tilled the whole garden. Now it’s ready for you to plant!”

Ever since that day, I mark every row I plant with very obvious stakes.


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