Friday, May 15, 2009

Self Deception

One of the pieces of advice given to vegetable growers is to track the amount of sun that your property receives at different times of the day and at different points in the year. This is because vegetables require 8 full hours of sun, period, full-stop, do-not-pass-go. Woe betide the vegetable grown in a mere 6 hours of sun! Have you not SEEN what 6 hours of sun can do to a rutabaga??

Such advice can be intimidating---who has time to wait a year to track your sun patterns?? I wanna put plants in the ground NOW! So I’ve ignored the advice, mostly out of fear that that I don’t actually have 8 hours of sun. But this year I decided to do it---maybe I can reach my full gardening potential.

The temptation to cheat is overwhelming, and my capacity for self-deception is astonishing. “Sure, the sun doesn’t shine full on the front bed until 9 am, but it gets filtered light through the trees at 8 am, so I’ll count that too! And I didn’t actually see that the sun stops shining on the beds at 2 pm, so I’ll just guess and say 2:30! That’s almost seven hours, which is really close to 8 hours – plenty of time! And as for the backyard, the sun reflects off the house, making up for the extra two hours of sun that it doesn’t have!”

I expect a vegetable uprising any day now.

Chani West-Foyle, marketing associate

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