July 20, 2006
I take offense
I have reluctantly accepted the fact that my plants have diseases. I might always get them too, simply because I choose to garden organically and I am confined to a tiny plot with "urban" soil issues. It has also been really rainy and really hot here for a while. So, my tomatoes have both Septoria Leaf Spot and also Early Blight. Big whoop! That said, I do someday hope not to have these problems and this year's tomato plants look waaaaaay better than last years. But this morning, I walked out to snip off some of the diseased branches and I saw another gardener who seems to really know what he's doing. He's definitely more of the "farmer gardener" though -- a young guy who knows how to "train" his plants, uses a black plastic sheet as "mulch" and grows enormous brandywine tomatoes and pretty much no flowers.
Knowing that he knows a thing or two I asked him if he was also having trouble with the lower leaves of his tomato plants (knowing that he is because I can SEE it).
My hope was to:
a) commiserate and b) hopefully get some advice because he has LESS of a problem than I do
His response was something along the lines of "maybe.... but I just look at it as one of the joys of organic gardening." Ouch! I know I'm being sensitive but, the comment struck me as a veiled version of "Dude, this is what gardening is all about and if you want a perfect green lawn and no diseases then move to the suburbs, pile on the chemlawn and be done with it, sheesh."
I felt judged.
I'm sure I'll get over it and he really is a nice person but, maybe a little macho and superior about his gardening. He'll probably have better tomatoes than me but, my plot is cooler to look at.