Monday, January 4, 2010

victory garden

My husband, who is a teacher, is the kind of person who needs a project. When he doesn't have one, I'm always a little afraid that I'll come home and find a wall torn down or a toilet removed, with a smiling, sweaty, dirty husband next to it proclaiming, "but I needed a project!" (This has almost happened, several times. It has happened, actually, just at a lower level, though one time I did come home and the front porch had been ripped off. We were going to do that, but it got started a few days earlier than I had planned.)

Anyway. Being a teacher and therefore home for Winter break, and stuck inside the house while it rained a bunch, he was started to get pretty antsy by this weekend. I felt the tool belt coming on. Sometimes the man needs a trip to Home De.pot like an addict needs a hit - he gets this certain look in his eye which makes me want to start leaving post-it notes on all the walls: "do not remove." So we found him a project.

Remember, it's January. It's cold. And wet. And DARK. The sun sets at 3:30pm around here. But he decided that he wanted to start the garden. (I called my mom to ask for her advice on this project, which we'll get to in a second, and there was a long pause before she asked tentatively, "He does know that it's January, right?")

This is a man with a plan. He's obsessed with growing tomatoes, for one thing. We moved here from a land of much summer sunshine and heat, where tomatoes grow the size of your head and taste like heaven, and he has a PLAN to replicate said conditions here in the land of clouds and rain - this PLAN involves heat tape in the dirt (laugh if you want, I did; apparently you can order this online at Wildly Desperate and Crazy, or something), black plastic over the roots of the plants, special fertilizer, probably generating our own heat source, etc.

But it is January, and the tomatoes will have to wait. For now, he wants to grow lettuce. So he built this thing:

which, yes, looks something like a giant Old Lady Rain Hat for the garden bed.

But wait, there's more:

That's right: he put a heat lamp in it. On a timer. So it goes on about 4pm, until about 9pm, during which time our backyard looks like we are either a.) growing pot; b.) hosting a convention of very small campers; or c.) insanely trying to grow lettuce. In January.

I was all set to roll my eyes at this, until I thought about the fact that there will be a box chock full o' drugs arriving at our house on Friday. I will inject myself with these and visit the doctor's office a hundred times, all in our efforts to get pregnant despite the odds otherwise. I am bound and determined to make of my uterus a womb, even if, to the outside observer, my chances look about as good as starting your garden in the middle of winter.

So now I am cheering on the lettuce, and my sweetly deluded husband. Lettuce in January? Baby in 2010? Why the hell not?


  1. You can absolutely grow lettuce in January! I don't know where you live (although now I am intrigued) but up here in the Northern Italian alps in quite a bit of snow, we are eating lettuce from my father-in-law's garden. I think he has some sort of plastic cover like yours, but no heat lamp, for sure.

    And if you can grow lettuce in January, you're absolutely right - why not a baby in 2010?

  2. I love this post!!! I'm at work laughing so hard my co-workers are starting to look concerned. I think what I like most is that I could have posted something very similar about my husband. Sounds like an idea he'd come home with. Anyways, I'm really hoping for a baby in 2010 for us all!!!

  3. This is the greatest post ever!! I laughed out loud and by the end of it I had a tear in my eye (just one little thoughtful tear).

    And yes. Why the hell not.

  4. Aw - sweet!

    He sounds very much like my husband who would absolutely love you hubby's little lettuce garden. However, I will not be showing this post to him because we don't need a lettuce garden right now. (He's currently out in the negative-something-degree weather getting snowed on and building a, um, I don't even know what it is. It involves an old coffee pot, used frying oil, and a blow torch among other random items. I think it's a homemade furnace for his garage. But it could be a robot for all I know.)