Gardening is certainly not my forte, as some of you might remember from previous “harvests.” Despite the overwhelming evidence that I should just leave those poor seeds alone and let someone with a green thumb take over, I just can’t seem to help myself, and have taken on yet another sprouting project even before the snow could stop falling from a wintry sky. Right from the start, I’ve broken the rules; Never start planting before the ground is at least 40 degrees! so many guides shout with conviction. Rebellious by nature, those words of warning didn’t even phase me, especially if I could sidestep the issue altogether by planting indoors. With this new approach, it must certainly be easier to monitor temperatures, waterings, and control the pests all at once, and so my little herb garden was started. Containing oregano, chives, parsley, and basil, it was really more of an exercise in plant-care than a real attempt at producing anything edible. So into fresh dirt those dry little seeds went, and the oblong planter nestled perfectly onto the narrow window sill.
That was 5 weeks ago today, and if you happened to be watching the periodic updates I’ve been posting on Flickr, then you would already know that those tiny kernels did indeed take root and sprout, pushing their way up through the dirt to greet the sunlight warming them. I can scarcely believe it- They’re so green, so lush, so… Alive! I’ve never been able to grow anything quite so vibrant before! Blossoming not into flowers but into something of a second family, seeing them sitting there patiently every time I return from classes is like a greeting from a loyal friend. Now they’re more than just little herbs to me, and I’ve taken even greater care to ensure their survival.
By no means does that imply it’s been smooth sailing all along. Just when the success of this gardening venture seemed like a sure thing, the foliage growing greener and lusher by the day, a shocking turn of events thoroughly shook my confidence. A few days ago, I had a little scare when I discovered clumps of greenery missing, some leaves with teethmarks still intact. Bewildered by what could be causing an infestation in my sheltered little dorm room, I guarded my helpless herbs from further attack, waiting to see what malevolent creature would wish to mow down my precious garden. No way was I about to let some unknown eater claim all of my hard work as their dinner!
Well it didn’t take long for the perpetrator to reveal himself- In no time at all, out from behind my bedside table came a yellow blur, dashing towards the plants! Quickly I sprang into action and confronted this… Monster?!
Heart pounding at first glance, fearful of a new and potentially dangerous creature, I couldn’t comprehend what on earth this hungry little guy was until I took a deep breath and a step back…
That’s right, my pest, my horrible and careless destroyer was actually a tiny giraffe, a peaceful herbivore- Not so unlike myself! I thought with surprise. The poor guy, I’m sure he was simply starving by now thanks to this prolonged winter, and still no greenery in sight. Still, that didn’t mean I was about to surrender my hard-earned herb garden! Instead, coaxing the frightened critter away from my sprouts, I dug into my fridge and offered up some leafy kale as a peace offering. Timidly nibbling about the edges at first, he soon warmed this alternative meal, and a new friendship was born. So long as I hit the salad bar everyday and bring him back the leftovers, he’s more than happy to stick around- But leave the herbs!