Whoever coined the phrase “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” probably wasn’t thinking of possums. Our friendly neighbourhood possum is the king of free lunches. His current craze is browsing the Brussels sprout plants for the best sprouts. He’s pretty impatient because I reckon the plants need a few weeks more to actually produce something I’d harvest. That’s one of the problems with possums, they don’t like waiting.
On the left is the plant which contributed to a recent free lunch, on the right is one which remains on the menu. But for how long?
I’m not sure what to do with the plants once most (never all) of the sprouts have been plucked. Do I remove them since they will no longer provide a food source and they are shading their siblings, or do I leave them to distract the possum(s)? I have a hunch that if I take out the empty sprout plants, those in the 2nd row will be next. Right now the possum has focussed his energies on the outer plants, but if I create new outer plants… well, I’ll mull over this conundrum.
My free lunch wasn’t completely free – but pretty close. The veggie beds are built from recycled materials and enriched with compost and coffee grounds. Okay, I’ve spent money on cow manure, sand and water crystals. And I’ve bought some seeds (though not this batch of kohlrabi – my neighbour had surplus seedlings and so I accepted his rejects). When we bought the house the lemon tree was in the back yard, does that mean this lemon carries some of the cost of the house? Ha – I’m calling it a free lunch.
What is especially nice is I hadn’t been in the garden to harvest. I was weeding, thinning carrots, mulching… and some lettuce leaves got in the way, then I realised a few radishes were ready and that kohlrabi was never going to get fatter – just tougher. On my way in to make a salad, I spotted the lemon on the ground – drink solved.
Of course the garden continues to provide beauty, not just food. Yesterday’s rain was too much for this rose and it broke under the weight. The bush’s loss is my gain. This flower is now perfuming my living room.