January 9, 2009

A New Leaf for 2009

In the past I've paused this blog because I felt too busy or because I had nothing new to say.The reason I put a stop to my "mostly weekly" garden updates back in August was my discovery that my little anonymous haven was in fact, not so anonymous.

I was in the garden back on that fateful day in the middle of the summer. My lovely garden plot neighbor and I were chatting, when she said, in a tone that I interpreted as a mix of apologetic and disappointed -- with a hint of quietness like that reserved for talking about other people's terrible misfortunes as in "divorce" or "cancer" -- something along the lines of:

"You know you could have told me that our tomatoes were growing too close to yours." She then went on to describe that she and her husband were new to gardening and would have appreciated the advice about needing to corral their tomatoes and that another gardener had found my blog and mentioned my concerns to her. I was caught. I had in fact blogged about her tomato plants creeping over to my side.

It is hard to describe my feelings in that moment. Horror, shame, embarrassment. The pit in my stomach lasted at least 2 weeks and I still feel kind of ill when I think of it. I walked around, scanning people's faces, trying to figure out if they knew about my blog when I talked to them. I mean, I am also pretty new to gardening and I would have loved to help them instead of make them feel like crap, not to mention make myself look like a petty, two-faced gossiper. Dammit!

She then went on to say that she had noticed that some of her tomato plants had been pushed way over (back towards her side) and that the stakes really looked as if someone had physically pushed them. She mentioned this to another gardener who told her about my blog. Oy vey! I told her that I really really hadn't done it and that all I had done was walk through between our two plots and try to push the branches that had grown over to my side over to hers. My stakes had been moving around a lot too actually. I didn't expect her to believe me. After all, I'm the kind of person who, rather than directly and maturely speaking to this lovely person about the issue I had with her tomato plants, just complained to the entire world on the INTERNET! This blog established motive.

I honestly never imagined that anyone in my neighborhood would find this blog. Somehow, thinking that no one would find it made me think of it as a sort of diary or at least a private conversation that I was having mostly with myself. Myself and a bunch of other gardeners I didn't know plus a few friends that I have mentioned this blog to and with whom I am comfortable telling my inner feelings (about gardening.)

I apologized right away and have probably apologized since then about 5 times everytime I see her. I'd also like to take this moment to apologize to anyone and everyone in my little neighborhood for anything I have expressed in this blog that was the slightest bit hurtful in any way to anyone. It's not what I intended and really not who I am most of the time. In fact, I think the thing that bothers me most is when I think of the kind of person I might seem like to my neighbors after all of this. It makes me cringe.

I do realize that this is also funny. Most of my friends have laughed heartily at the whole thing. I mean, who in this day and age actually thinks their blogs are really anonymous?! Come on!!

The long and the short of it is that I seriously considered taking the whole thing down, but I decided it was better to come clean. In fact, I was encouraged NOT to take it down first by the same lovely woman who I blabbed about and then a few friends who also garden and actually like my blog for the tips. Special thanks to my friend in Vermont who grows excellent brussel sprouts and whose asparagus I hope survived all the construction.

I'm not quite to the point where I'm ready to make it easier for people to figure out who I am, but I'll just be writing now with the knowledge and assumption that anyone I might have hoped isn't reading this probably is and I should get comfortable with that and act accordingly. I might loosen up a little bit on the code names and other "masking" tactics, but maybe I won't.

Thanks to all for reading and feel free to forward to anyone you want!


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear we won't be losing you!! I had to garden vicariously through you last summer, but this summer I will surely be in direct need of your growing-stuff camaraderie!! xxoo

your pal in jersey

Mia said...

Welcome Back! And well done. Did I mention that my sister will be taking the Master Urban Gardener class this winter?

Claire said...

Aha! I'd been wondering where you were. We all screw up sometimes, so don't beat yourself up too much. I am pretty cautious on my blog since a bunch of my colleagues read it...plus, it seems like a lot of blogs (NOT yours) turn into whine-fests, which is really unappealing and not what I want to do.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I like yours, just started my own blog on urban gardening in Atlanta (no plants yet, still have to start the seeds this weekend) and am resolute that my blog will be about gardening. That's it. No politics, no personal, no whining. Just seeds and stuff.
Good for you for swallowing your pride, owning up to your mistake, and going forward. Tough to do, I know. Isn't that what we call courage and integrity?

Kat FM said...

I moved to cambridge recently and am happy to have discovered this blog! it was featured on the blogger.com search page when I searched for urban gardening boston-- so much for anonymity indeed! i live in a one bedroom in MIT housing and am starting the process of growing food indoors. I'm also playing around with building a home hydroponics to grow lettuce and chard. wwww.urbanearthling.blogspot.com

your tomato picture was funny! i'm looking forward to visiting often

green mittens,

Chassity said...

I am beginning a new plot this year (my first in a community garden!) and at our one and only meeting, I am going to pass out homemade cards with my blog address on it. I'm hoping that I can help keep people motivated to take care of their plots and get feedback about ideas/concerns/help that anyone from the community wants to provide.

Maybe you should do the same since you've got a great blog and this could help you turn something that you feel embarrassed by into a positive experience!

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