Posts Tagged ‘grasshoppers’

I don’t mean the Chinese year.¬† ūüėܬ†¬†I forget specifically what year it was, since I’ve tried to block those painful memories from my mind.¬† I’m guessing it was around 1997 or 1998.¬†

That was the last year I had a garden.   

I carefully hovered; tending my wee garden from spring until late summer/early fall.¬† My corn was as high as an¬†elephant’s eye, and it looked like it was growing clear up to the sky. ¬†

Ok, well, it wasn’t that tall.¬† But it was taller than our 6 ft privacy fence, and it looked like we were going to have a bumper crop of corn from the few stalks we had planted.

And then *they* came.  <{insert impending doom music}>  <DUN DUN DUN>

They descended upon town, literally like a plague of locusts (which we know are actually a kind of grasshopper, but I digress) of near Biblical proportion. 

At first, there was just wonderment, as in “Good grief, look at all those hoppers!”¬†

And then it was caution tinged with fear, as the numbers seemed to multiply, like, “Uh, I sure hope they don’t stick around- maybe I should spray something in the garden?”¬†

Which changed to panic; “Oh no!¬† They are eating all my corn!”

Then¬†turned¬†to disgust; “I can’t believe they did that in a few days!¬† All my hard work eaten!¬† Wah!”

And resulted in resignation: “It must be God’s will that I don’t have a garden.¬† I shall never grow another garden ever, ever again.” <head hanging low>

I kid you not.¬† I don’t think a flock of chickens could have kept up with¬†that amount of grasshoppers! I have an image in my mind of gorged and fallen chicken casualties, too fat and too full of grasshoppers to move.¬†¬†

I remember some getting in the house after landing in my grocery bags,¬†and hoppers jumping around¬†in the truck while going down the road (which freaked the kids out at first).¬† Tennis matches were rescheduled, because while these hoppers were brown and didn’t get confused with the green tennis ball, it was overwhelming for the kids trying to hit the ball and ending up with hoppers smashed in the racket.¬† Plus, as athletes know, when you are doing your sport, you tend to breathe with your mouth open, which results in-¬†you guessed it- grasshoppers in the mouth.

Now, while in some parts of the world, these bugs are part of normal dietary fare, we here¬†only venture into the chocolate covered territory if feeling particularly daring.¬† I’ve never done it, but have heard it’s true- along with chocolate covered scorpions. Indeed, it was prudent to drive down the road with your lights on to see better, and when going over 5 mph, you really did need to turn your wipers on to get them off the windshield.¬†¬†¬†

So it’s been awhile since I’ve had a garden.¬† I’m still recovering. While part of me is mortified at a recurrence, I am holding firm to the belief that surely God will only bless me with a swarm of locusts once in my lifetime, and that being the case, I should now be free and clear to plant until the end of my days.

The first phase of the garden is complete.¬† Soil has been tilled and manure/compst¬†mix has been¬†mixed in. Forms for¬†raised beds are complete.¬† To get to this point, we added 55 bags (1 cubic foot = 2.37 yards) of soil and another 15 bags of compost mix (I don’t remember what amount was in those bags).¬† Seeds are planted; tomato plants are added.¬† Seeds are germinating, and will hopefully grow, since little dog has had a field day tromping¬†in the beds.¬† While she looks really cute sitting next to the tomatos, I am not sure things will grow where planted, given the footprints and moved soil.

Such is life.¬† Moving on!¬† On deck for this weekend is the addition of some kind of ground covering for the walking paths.¬† We are not sure if this is going to be mulch, rock, or pavers, but I have to find landscape plastic first.¬† Then there is the fence to keep the dogs out-¬†big dog is smart enough to go around, but little dog-¬†not so much.¬† Once the fence is in place, hunny is going to put in the drip system. I expect once these things are complete, I’ll be able to take pictures and share.¬†

In the meantime, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that we don’t get hoppers or any other bugs that will ruin the garden.¬† It’s sickening seeing all your hard work disappear nearly overnight.¬†But I have hope that this is the year of garden success!¬† Here’s to good garden growing- and may there not be a return of the year of the hoppers!

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