Monthly Archives: July 2012

Industry, Industry, How Does Your Social Garden Grow?

 For many years, my dear neighbors (we actually all refer to each other as “neighbor”), have had great success planting a garden on their front lawn. From July and deep into August and beyond, the kids and I are invited to help ourselves to plump tomatoes, sweet cucumbers, crisp string beans, and even an occasional pumpkin. For the last couple of years, they’ve been encouraging me to plant one on my side of the road. But I always thought, “Nah, too much work. Not worth the effort. The kids will destroy it.” Pretty much – any excuse NOT to garden was good enough for me.

The Prep was Daunting

This year, I finally decided to take the plunge. The prep was daunting – hand pulling wheelbarrows full of weeds on an unusually hot and sticky Memorial Day weekend. Several trips to the store for compost, seed, starter plants and miscellaneous goods. Then the seemingly endless digging and shleping of mulch from the backyard woods. Once everything was in the garden bed, Neighbor Bob came over and roto-tilled the soil and mulch. When done, I had beautiful, rich black dirt that was ripe for planting. I cheated with the tomatoes and cucumbers – using starter plants, but dropped in string been and watermelon seeds. My youngest ambitiously helped.

This Gardening Thing Isn’t for Me!

Within a few days, we were encouraged to see a few bean sprouts break the dirt. But the joy would soon turn to sorrow. One tomato plant had mysteriously snapped – either it was the rain, or, more ironically, Neighbor’s dog. Another tomato plant snapped. Then a few of young bean plants were trampled. It was over. I was so discouraged. “This gardening thing isn’t for me!” I yelled into the ether.

Neighbor Susan came over and explained that I could actually replant the broken tomato – just dig the hole and plant it deeper, which I did. Then, two of the watermelon seeds started growing. The cucumbers vines started to spread out, while the tomatoes and beans were growing up. With continual weeding and watering, the garden was beginning to flourish. There were many hot days in June and my nephew Tom was kind enough to water the fledglings for me.

MY Cucumbers!

On Independence Day weekend, just five weeks after the initial prep, I plucked three beautiful full-sized cucumbers and we enjoyed garden fresh cucumber salad at our BBQ. These were unlike any that I have ever tasted – sweet, juicy, and MINE! We’ve harvested 15 or so more since then. I’ve lost count. Oddly, nobody is sick (yet) of cucumber salad! A few weeks ago, the string beans were ready for picking. Just snap and eat. Yum. Just last week – our first ripe red tomato was ready.

As a gift to Neighbors for helping, I’ve been sharing cucumbers with them. See, they don’t have any ready to eat yet. And I am not quiet about my garden coup. It felt good to give them some fresh veggies for once! (And to rub my victory in their faces. Sorry, Neighbors.)

Was the purpose of this blog to brag about my beginner’s green thumb? Yes, absolutely. Oh, wait, no. This is a marketing blog for manufacturers. Seriously – if you haven’t figured it out yet – my point is that social media is just like a garden:

At first, it’s easier to ignore and to fight it, especially since you survived so long without it. But once you get over the initial prep, and jump a few hurdles, with a little help, it becomes fun. It takes time to nurture, there are setbacks, but in time, you reap the glorious harvest.

The harvest does not come without the garden. The garden will not grow unless you prep the soil and plant the seeds, then nurture them continuously.

I have to run – several more cukes are ripe for the pickin’. I am going to pickle this batch.

Phil Paranicas


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