How Does My Garden Grow?

Pretty Damn Well!

lettuce growing in Nicaragua

Here come my Asian greens!

I planted the Monday of the new moon. I like to grow with the new moon for its witchyness and tradition.

Rowcover Nicargau Garden

Row covers for my lettuces.

Cabbage moths demolish lettuce, kale, broccoli rabe, and chard. I put the row cover on immediately after planting. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough material for the whole garden.

spagetti squash seedling

Fingers crossed!

The squash and cucumbers will have to be de-bugged by hand. But it’s easier than trying to dig cabbage moth larvae out of the center of lettuces.

The luxury of installing a row cover reminded me of growing clay beans in Mexico.

We bought a bagfull of beans you could eat as pods, and they were delicious as dried beans. They tasted like clay; things that taste like the earth are comforting when you’re a farmer.

We planted about a quarter of an acre. They were doing well; we had several meals of Marion Cunnihagm’s simple, satisfying Green beans and Potatoes. Providing anything for ourselves was a significant accomplishment. Everything you grow yourself tastes better– even when it doesn’t. I think your heart grows tastes buds when you’re a farmer.

One day, I picked clay beans. To my horror, I found they were inundated with aphids. Not, just a few. The plants were coated with them. They had their rotten armored friends, the ants, backing them up. I’m sorry, but I hate ants. Ants and Termites are the bain of my existence in Nicaragua.

Within two days, my vision of dry beans put away for winter faded. I rescued what I could of the green pods and tried to avoid the bean plot.

But a few days later I walked by, and the plants looked perkier; I stepped into the bed to investigate and saw hundreds of little speckled alligator larvae. Lady bugs!

I knew what they were because I had murdered a congregation of them in Chicago when they showed up on my hibiscus plant to eat the aphids that infested it.

I thought the plant was weak and overrun, but nature was coming to the rescue. I sprayed tobacco juice on baby ladybugs.  I was heartbroken when I realized my error years later; I mourned them.

When I saw my beans covered in a brigade of ladybug larvae, I fell to the ground and cried. I’m not exaggerating, and I also am not a drama queen. Farming will do this, destroy you, and burst your heart.

The ladybugs didn’t win, but they helped. We had enough dried clay beans for the year for the two of us. Farming will do this too, make it ok to have just enough and to share with nature, even if it’s aphids and ants.

Does anyone care to share gardening sorrow, victory, or both? Your stories inspire me.

I’ve been a pro-writer for over a week now. It’s awesome! The company is excellent, and I love my editor. This new world of working online is perfect for me. You can check out what I’m doing over there if you’re interested. You can click here to see my writer bio, and if you scroll to the bottom, there’s a list of my articles. Let me know what you think of the headshot…some like it, others (me) not so much.


I Got It!

I got the job!!!

I am officially a pro–food writer! Check out my first article.

I get to write with an editor, which is super fun! My friend Cheryl Raisch was my first editor here at VSVEVG. She held my hand while I got my bearings during those first posts. I’m delighted to have an opportunity to work with a partner again. A fresh perspective is invaluable.Abby Smith Cheesemaker


I’ve learned so much during my job hunt, and I know this work will take my writing to the next level. I couldn’t be more excited or grateful.

Thank you all for sending love and support. It helped. I was calm as I waited about 48 hours after my test shift for confirmation. I’m convinced it was your collective energy of belief that held me in a peaceful state of allowing.

xoxoxo, Paz,