12 days. 2 managers. 5 woodchucks. 127 mice. 4,978 voles. Unlimited birds. 1 mission.
As you may have judged from our last post, SLUG has been in transition since August 17th, 2014. We have spent 12 perilous days and nights out on the terrain, fighting The Battle of Memorial Hill. With the glorious end in sight, history books will soon reflect our journey, chronicling the sweat, tears, and infinite buckets of water that have been shed. Oh- I’m sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll begin at the start of our journey.
The morning of August 17th was nothing out of the ordinary- unavoidably cold, beautiful, and exciting. We drudged out of our mosquito-netted hammocks at 6am and scaled Memorial Hill expertly to reach our battlezone, SLUG. We were confronted with the same garden we had always seen, but for some reason, our perceptions became heightened, and we realized the severity of our situation. Stumped-out zucchini littered the ground, overshadowing the half-eaten tomatoes that were haphazardly strewn about. (I mean c’mon woodchucks, you couldn’t even clean up after your dinner?) Our cucumber bed was yet again trampled and eaten, despite the GENIUS spraying of coyote pee, a tactic taken from the terrible Appleton Coyote/Hyena War of 2003. What lay in front of us was no longer 32 beds, a 90 foot hoop-house, and infinite possibility for personal growth among perennial growth, but a warzone on the brink of collapse. We had to act fast.
We consulted General Clark, an expert in Croc trivia and guerrilla-gardening tactic. After pacing up and down the woodchipped veins of our fallen fortress, he spoke the greatest words ever known to be heard in those hallowed halls: “Cate, Aiden, if there was one thing I could tell you, it would be this: Mankind must put an end to war, before war can put an end to mankind. IHRTLUHC.” (This soundly oddly familiar to a JFK quote, but we knew that General Clark had spoken from his heart.) Flabbergasted and humbled, we watched in awe as he called his trusty steed, a ravenous and terrifying lil puppy, and strolled away with no further comment, only stopping to admire our newly constructed compost bins. And just as quickly as he had come, he was gone in the wind.
“Was that just real life?” inquired Aiden, “or was that fantasy? I feel as if I’m caught in a landslide, no escape from reality.”
“Oh, my child,” Cate said, sprouting a Dumbledore-esque beard, “Of course it’s happening in your head, Aiden, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?”
It was then when we realized what had to be done. Blasting the battle anthem “Flawless”, by Beyonce, we drew up our plans and started our journey. The plans are of course top-secret, as I’m sure you all understand, so all I can share are a few “code words”:
kale. mizuna. tot soi. starts. in. beds. cilantro. greens. netting over greens. reinforce fencing. plant radishes. flowers. cover crops. chard looks excellent. eggplant. more radishes. save cucumbers. deer guard. onion/garlic extract spray. confidence. we woke up like this. we flawless. ladies. tell ‘em.
After following a “rinse-and-repeat” type execution, SLUG bounced back. Here we stand, 12 days later, united. We tore down that wall, we looked Buttons (the woodchuck,) in the whites of his eyes, we put a man on the moon and asked not what The Battle of Memorial Hill could do for our garden, but what the garden could do for The Battle of Memorial Hill. And we succeeded. But, I’m probably boring you to death. A picture is worth exactly 239 words, so, I’ll let them do the talking.