I retired a couple years ago
and decided to take a gardening class
because otherwise I probably would starve
even with food stamps,
given my retirement plan
was mainly to live off my still-freeloading adult perpetual-children.
This gardening class cost more than it was worth,
so just about exactly what a reasonable person would expect to invest,
except it was taught by a shaman
who called herself not a witch, but a Permacultural Designer,
and said she was even officially Certified as such.
She actually admitted up front
that we too would be certifiable if, along life’s way,
we applied her PermaCulture Principles
of nutritional arts and sciences.
So I planted my first garden
on my new retirement home
about half wooded,
or maybe a third,
actually I have no idea
but I can speak to the prodigious poison ivy.
A few of my seeds actually did not die prematurely
but, due to a series of unfortunate prior pollination events,
overall, the weeds won out
with few exceptions
to the natural law of might makes right evolution.
I thought for a couple of painful minutes
about pulling weeds,
with childhood memories of hoeing the weeds out of my 4-H garden,
I never did better than a red ribbon even with the hoe,
and, in my recently completed gardening class
I had learned the Principle of Greatest Nutritional Effect
with Least Gardening and Landscaping Effort.
I had already efforted the damned seeds into the ground,
so perhaps doing more would be unnecessary,
who can kill all that kale anyway,
much less actually eat it.
Well, a couple days later I was mowing the lawn
with my electric quasi-powered push mower
and noticed how festively green and lush the garden looked over that way
so I probably didn’t need to worry so much about watering.
A few days,
or maybe weeks, later,
I went out to see if there were peas or string beans to harvest yet.
I had considerable difficulty finding them.
The surprisingly anemic-looking lines and patches of kale were visible.
As I had suspected,
that stuff will grow where even a self-respecting weed would not root.
Next week I’m gonna try to seed it down the middle of my gravel driveway
to see if I can create an edible boulevard.
Although, not sure what that diesel school bus exhaust will do for the kale.
Probably the kale will suck it all in
and save it for me later.
After all, that’s greatest effect with least effort, right?
Well now it’s late July and I finally see the wisdom of Greatest Nutritional Effect
with Least Gardening Effort,
I got hungry enough to start eating the weeds.
I mean, not indiscriminately,
I’m not quite that dim,
although now that I think on it,
it would be easier to just graze on handfuls
or even sitting
in my new weed garden.
I could set the wicker chairs
and the swing out there.
The family that grazes together
stays and shits and starts to stick together,
I would suppose,
avoiding all unnecessary excesses
of hunting and gathering their next meal.
That would probably scare off my freeloading adult perpetual-kids too.
That’s called the Principle of Positive Emergent Systemic Effect,
kind of another version of getting extra stuff done without actually doing anything extra.