I blame Horatio Alger for this. Some of the stories in his boys' books mentioned town selectmen, most often as a dour, Puritanical and steady bunch. Our selectmen -- there are three women on the board, but they are also selectmen -- don't quite fit the bill, Alger-wise.
But the Town Meeting, held twice a year, is at least a place where the citizens come together to vote on the town's major issues, and that is a welcome change from the elect-'em-and-forget-'em mentality of many cities which, at least where I lived, led to corruption, atrocious debt, and a lot of just plain nonsense. Here, about two percent of the population showed up, and the discussions and voting made for a lively (and long) evening.
Still, I deleted two attempts to write in detail, because there was a fair amount of lunacy involved at times, and at more than one point the whole thing started to smell of politics. Politics -- even small-time politics -- interests me, but also angers me, so I decided not to go there by subjecting you to a full (boring) description.
Let's just say that, whether through an outbreak of common sense or just plain luck, a couple of issues I cared about as a local voter were handled properly.
|Didn't they appear on "America's Got Talent" a couple of seasons ago?|
I herewith present The Garden Report:
We had decidedly mixed results with our efforts to grow foodstuffs this year. We planted tomatoes -- a can't-fail crop -- along with broccoli, carrots, cantaloupes, cucumbers and pumpkins.
First, the total failures, broccoli and cantaloupes. The broccoli grew nicely, but didn't, well, broccolize. Nice plants, but nothing remotely edible. We got cantaloupes, but they were tiny and grew so slowly that we knew they'd never mature, and the bugs got at 'em.
Carrots were no great success either. They grew, but not much, and when we finally yanked them out we managed, by very careful slicing, to get enough for D. and me to enjoy them in one dinner salad. One. Out of the whole season. Pfui.
Cucumbers did better. We got several, and one or two more might be edible before the season sputters to a close. Tomatoes also grew, but we tried two varieties (li'l bitty ones and huge-O Atomic Tomatoes) and, thanks to the bees spreading pollen around haphazardly (we think), ended up with a lot of mutant fruits. Some never ripened.
|Our First Tomato -- each of us got one yummy bite....|
Let it be said that the cucumbers and tomatoes were delicious, as good as I've ever eaten. We used both in a number of salads through the summer, and made tomato sandwiches with the monstro 'matoes. My disgust with store-bought fruits and veggies will no doubt increase to exceptional levels through the winter.
Roll on next Spring, when we'll try it again, taking certain steps -- starting the growing season sooner, separating tomato varieties, possibly choosing different crops, and so on -- to improve the product.
And the pumpkin? The jury is still out. We have one, not as large as expected, but turning a nice pumpkin-y color. We have hopes it will be ready for Hallowe'en, but that's more than a month away and no one is certain it'll actually make it.
Much more interesting (and non-controversial) than the Board of Selectmen and the Town Meeting!