The Organic Neighbor
Some neighbors bring out the best in us and some bring out…the crazy.
My neighbor has a totally organic garden; it’s green, it’s lush, it bears nutrient-rich vegetables free of any chemicals. Our garden consists of a man-eating tomato, mutated carrots, and the ‘little butternut squash that could’. The other day my husband and I were working in the yard and Organic Neighbor came over to say hi. I heard him extolling the virtues of keeping the earth pesticide-free so I quickly jumped behind the sandbox to hide the four-gallon jug of ‘Weed Annihilator’ I was spraying with extreme prejudice. (I made a mental note that hopping over stray legos had made me quite agile.) Once I ditched the weed killer, I walked over in time to hear our neighbor say that he and his family enjoy eating their weeds. “Most varieties are very healthy and make a hearty salad.”
Tripping over a sprinkler, my mouth got the best of me, “I fashion our weeds into hats.” At this point, Organic Neighbor and my husband glanced at me with the same look of disbelief but after 10 years together, my husband knows better than to stop me when I’m on a roll.
“It’s a fairly long, drawn-out process to dry the weeds, but I’m usually ready for weaving by fall. I finish the hats in time for Thanksgiving and we wear them while we sit around the table and name our favorite squash.”
Why stop there? “We also compost!” I exclaimed to Organic Neighbor. My husband gave me his ‘why-aren’t-you-medicated’ look and I knew he had forgotten all about the clogged toilet in the basement which can surely be considered compost.
It was about this time that Organic Neighbor said his goodbyes and backed away slowly from us. As we waved goodbye, I asked my husband, “Did I just alienate another neighbor?”
“Yup. By the way, what is a ‘worm casting’?”
“It’s worm poop,” I said.
“That guy just stood there and told me about worm poop for 10 minutes? He quoted weights and measurements!” My husband could not conceal his disgust.
“He knows his poop. Well, I’m going down to the basement to work on our compost pile. You coming in?” I asked my husband.
My husband smirked, “No, I have to clean up the yard; it’s covered in dog castings.”