Thursday, May 27, 2010

Aphids and Attitudes

Aphids! APHIDS!? How in the world could I deserve to have aphids? Now mind you these are not the ordinary, garden variety aphids. These are aphids IN THE HOUSE, devouring the tiny, fragile plants that I have been protecting and talking to for months. These are the plants that I gingerly sprouted from seed, kept warm, watered – even prayed over. These are my garden vegetables!

The pioneers had crickets, but the seagulls came to rescue them. Please note that I’m not saying I want seagulls in my kitchen. But aphids IN the house, munching away until many of the little plants drooped and sagged, appearing to be “done for”. Aphids, some so miniscule I had to strain to see them. I could not just smack them and knock them off the plants or I would destroy my plants. I struggled to come up with a solution that would be effective and not destructive. I could not spray them with insecticide because the plants were very fragile. They were too little to hold under the faucet or dip up and down in soap water. How did they get IN? How and why did they find my plants? I didn’t see any house-broken seagulls helping me.

I finally got a Q-tip and brushed them off, trying not to break stems in the process. For several days I knocked aphids back down onto the little brown peat-pots in the war over my future garden.

Some of you may be thinking, Ok Barbara, we get the picture, you had aphids. No, they weren’t just aphids. They were aphids in the house, not in the usual place or circumstances!

However, does there seem to be a line of trial here that is intended to be another visual aid? Once again, I was in the process of trying to do the right thing at the right time. (Please note, this is not written as the thesis for guilt trips or the foundation for a sermon on “perfection of anything ”. It’s just another “pondering in the process of preparedness.” In other words I still have a lot of lessons to learn.)

It seemed to be the time of year that all of the catalogs, articles and experts indicate that the “plant the garden” juices” should be flowing. With the floundering economy continuing to take its toll on budgets and disposable income, this seemed to be a good place to try to save some money.

One point to recognize is that Larry and I are serving a full time-part time mission, as well as working full time with our business. Therefore, planting a garden, let alone attempting to do one from “scratch,” was not “just a hobby” right now. It seemed to be “a right thing to do.” You know from previous discussions and articles that preparedness really is part of my DNA. Preparedness therefore to me, means to have a garden; no matter how small, no matter how limited in variety of plants, it is the principle of the thing. You must see that I am counting on having at least one zucchini plant, with enough to eat and enough to share. It’s the principle of zucchini!

I spent two days in the dirt plot transforming it into a garden plot ... I talked to the plants, prayed, talked to the plants some more and thoroughly checked for remnant aphids. I watered well, watched and waited. IT LOOKED LIKE THEY WERE GOING TO MAKE IT: zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, beans, more zucchini, one pumpkin and a jalapeƱo for Larry. More waiting and watching, and talking to plants in the garden.

Then came the news; it was spring time in the Rockies and the freeze was in the air! I cried. I ranted. I raved. Why me? Why my baby plants that I had worked so hard to get to grow. Why? Wasn’t I doing what I was supposed to be doing? Hadn’t I worked to do it right; you know all the digging and weeding and fertilizing and weeding and weeding. Did that keep the freeze from sweeping down into my little garden? NO! (In my mind I can see the green plague coming, as in The Ten Commandments movie :} )

When I checked again the next day, all the baby leaves were shiny, droopy and frost killed! Oh well, there aren’t any aphids!

Back to the mission, back to working, back to feeling terrible about my little garden. And now what do I do? Remember that Primary song, “Try, Try, Try” ? I’ve been working at how to find the budget to buy some bedding plants. If I have to start over I have to start over, at my house the zucchini principle must be met. … I haven’t been able to get the courage to pull out “the little ones yet.” I just keep hoping there might be a tiny miracle and they just might survive.

It’s now a week later. Just thought I would share with you … I just checked again,. I discovered tiny, green leaves on the zucchini and beans.

Aphids in the house? What a lesson in an oh-so-tiny adversary that had crept in, needed to be recognized and dealt with. Attitude in the garden? Try, Try, Try! Send me your address so that I may share my zucchini.