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Garden Fingers

It takes a couple weeks each spring to get my garden fingers back. Just as sailors need to get their sea legs in order to gain their sense of balance on water, I need my gardening fingers to give me confidence and lessen any lingering squeemishness.

Readjustment starts with the dirt. I don’t like getting my hands too dirty, so I wear gloves when planting seedlings or weeding, especially at the start of the season. Mine are well-worn and well-loved. My garden fingers adjust a bit more for pulling weeds; part of that is in my head too since I want to be very sure that I’m not pulling up something intentional or some worthy volunteer. Thinning seedlings too takes a certain hardening of heart that I equate with being in gardening mode.

The real test of garden fingers is bug squishing. Seeing as we are organic gardeners by heritage and persuasion, we don’t use pesticides, which means that we do have some little critters living in our area. (I prefer to see it as a sign of a healthy ecosystem rather than a problem.) Early in the season, I have a hard time with the squishing of the bugs however; I don’t mind them being squished, I just don’t want to be the one doing it. I point out the usual suspects to Jim, who easy mashes them with his bare fingers! He’s brave! I, on the other hand, wear my gloves for bug squishing. If my gloves are out of reach and something must be killed on the spot, I’ll catch the bug in my palm, carry it to a flat rock surface, drop it and step on it.  (A lengthy post or two about who gets squished and why will follow shortly.)

By fall, though, you may occasionally see me squish a bug between my fingers. Ugh. By then, thank God, gardening season is almost over.

Posted in • Growing.

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