No. 88 – Talking Garden Plants

My wife is really into our garden boxes. Born with black thumbs, she’s been trying desperately to migrate her thumb-color to a more greenish variety.

I’d say she’s well out of brown and into yellow.

This has involved all sorts of study and trial and error, researching which kinds of plants play nice with one another, elaborately planning out the location of said plants, and having planter boxes made out of recycled pallets and filled with ‘special’ dirt. (We have no official composter box or bin, getting one is on the ‘ye-old to-do list’ but that hasn’t stopped us from stockpiling YEARS of lawn clippings and jack-o-lantern corpses.)

She’s experimented with normal seeds, heirloom seeds, and even pre-sprouted plants; seedlings I think they’re called? I call them cheating…I guess as long as they still have the word ‘seed’ in them they count as growing them ‘from the seed’. This has then led to the pre-cutting of existing root systems into multiple quadrants…which has led to some very thriving plants and to some very dead plants.

She’s also gotten into adding all sorts of household things to the soil, the fibrous leftovers from juicing, the coffee grounds, the greenish water that is left in the pot after steaming vegetables…pretty much, I don’t throw away anything anymore without finding out if we are supposed to either ziplock it for later (juicing, brewing, brothing, etc.) or put in the garden.

In-all, there is little that has been out of bounds when it has come to my wife’s quest to eventually be an old hunched woman puttering around in her garden.

This year, the most fascinating (and disturbing) thing she’s begun to do is sprinkle this fungi stuff into the dirt to ‘help the plants talk to one another’.

Literally.

I guess in some Gaia-worshiping eco-movie way, the plants of the world are all talking to one another via this fungi, and learn from one another about insect attacks, nutrients, and even sometimes they decide, by some indecipherable democratic process, which few plants should sacrifice themselves to invading insects for the survival of the many.

I’m not making this up.

ME: (whispering) “What are you doing?”

WIFE: “I’m sprinkling the seedlings with the fungi…”

ME: (whispering) “…can they hear us right now?”

WIFE: “It doesn’t work like that.”

ME: (still whispering) “…yes but HOW do you KNOW they can’t hear us?…”

WIFE: “Stop whispering.”

I am concerned that she will eventually sprinkle some of that fungi on our morning yogurt and we will unwillingly be plunged into the social fabric of plant life. Of course this would be only after SHE was inadvertently infected, a thoughtless wipe of the nose during a special fungi sprinkling time, etc.

And then, after much discussion with her new leafy tribe, it will be decided that all of the ‘large, rootless bi-bods’ should be brought into the circle as well. She will have no option but to comply.

Later, should we be called upon to sacrifice ourselves, well…

PLANTS: “Your bodies are large and calorie-rich.”

WIFE: “Yes.”

PLANTS: “Your sacrifice would ensure the survival of many.”

WIFE: “We must think of the greater good.”

PLANTS: “Your sacrifice will be remembered.”

*All conversations between myself, my wife, and our garden are entirely fictional. However the fungi and talking plant facts are real.

Very real.

 

NEXT WEEK, ON THE CRUNCHY DUNGEON:

So my wife knows a lot of stuff. And as a result, a lot of people depend on my wife for information and advice. And as a result of that, she sometimes acts like a personal Google…or Siri maybe…for a lot of people. Like mainly for when they have medical or diet issues and want to know what their alternative medicine alternatives are…