Tuesday, June 8, 2010
I've gardened my entire life. Every summer growing up we ate fresh cucumber, corn and melon. And as I grew, so did my garden. Losing myself in Sunset's Western Garden Book became a post Christmas tradition. I'd plot the crops on graph paper, thin in spots from the eraser having rearranged the layout again and again.
Gardening has become such a part of my life that I confidently predict the "bumper crop" each spring. I mulch, till, weed, and amend until the juvenile plants make the big step from greenhouse to garden soil. Once in, I carefully water and sit back to watch the wonder of nature unfold before me.
Sunday I was admiring how neat and tidy the raised beds were. Everything filling in nicely, preparing for a plentiful summer of fresh vegetables. I spent the morning tickling the tomatoes and thinning the radishes, counting the blossoms on the peppers and dreaming of delicious dishes Matt would make for us. I think I even hummed as I cruised my handiwork; so proud of myself for giving us organic fresh produce grown from seed.
So I wasn't expecting anything but growing edibles, but as I rounded the corner of the bed it jumped out, kabaam!, screaming to be seen. A big, phallic fungus sat like a seventh grade boy in math class dreading his call to the chalkboard. It was huge. And ugly. And definitely not welcome.
After hours on the internet I have identified the offending fungus. It's not harmful to kids, pets or vegetables, but it has some very bad habits. Most likely the mulch I purchased from the big-box home store contained spores, which I then planted in my garden. It is called a stinkhorn mushroom. It smells like rotting flesh, which attracts flies, which in turn spreads the spores. Like herpes: once you have it, it's yours for life. Yeah!
So, in keeping with my annual spring prediction, this year I predict our "bumper crop" will be smelly penises. Anyone want to exchange veggies?