07 June, 2007

Jalapeños, Squirrels, and a Lesson in Honesty














My wife has a green thumb, and mine has shades of green here and there, so we decided to grow some vegetable plants in pots in our backyard. A tomato plant, some cilantro, and one jalapeño pepper plant.

Mmmmm....fresh jalapeño peppers. I like them alot.

The pepper plant was the first to bloom and soon thereafter a small pepper started to form at the top of the plant. Excitedly I would check the pepper plant's progress per passing day. The bigger the pepper grew, the more I could imagine the fiery goodness it would add to some savoury dish. During a pepper progress check, my dream came to a tragic end. The pepper was gone.

Gone!! Who could have taken my precious pre-pubescent pepper? My mind scanned through the usual suspects: birds, squirrels, the next door neighbor. Squirrels. Squirrels. It had to have been the squirrels!! We have 987 of them living in our backyard. My wife agreed with my surmising, so immediately I began to devise a plan to properly protect and preserve my potted peppers.

Pellet gun, check. Wire mesh for protective pepper cage, check. Dogged determination to see the next juvenile jalapeño reach adulthood, check.

Now this whole pepper-stealing-squirrels saga had been played out in living color before my two lovely daughters, 4 and 2 years old. Several days after the crime had occurred, and before any thieving squirrel had lost it's life at my hand, my 4 year old daughter approached my wife immediately after waking from her afternoon nap.

Confession is cleansing to the soul they say, and my daughter did some cleansing. She plead guilty to picking the small pepper and throwing it in the grass. When asked what her motive was for pre-maturely ending the life of the pepper, she said, "It was squishy".

Of course we were very proud of her for admitting what she had done instead of letting the squirrels take the fall, and so she was encouraged accordingly.

We now have clearly established the boundaries for vegetable picking in our mini-garden, squishy or not.

Amends have been made with the representative from the nut-gatherers union and there is a new pepper developing on the pepper plant. Harmony has been restored. :-)

1 comment:

Aaron said...

I know, this is just too convenient, but it just so happens that coffee grounds are REALLY good to mix in the siol of plants in general, but particularly peppers, tomatoes and roses. just thought I'd throw that in there.

-- Aaron

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