Here is Andy laying fast draining gravel paths between my three raised beds. Oscar’s contribution was to growl and lunge at the shovel. Then jump in the first bed and stomp on the tomatoes. We’d planned the netting as deer-proofing as we have only fenced off the vineyards and are encouraging deer to graze all around the rest of the property. (Which is why Old Sonomans mutter “City Slickers” every time they see us.) Now we see that “terrier proofing” is a greater concern.

Wondering why the beds are so small? Well, if it’s possible to know less than nothing about growing vegetables, our skill level would be slightly below that. Of the fifteen organic gardening books I’ve bought to teach myself, all of them stress NOT growing more than your skill level and time will allow you to handle. For me, that would be four tomato plants, two peppers, six corn stalks, two squash vines and two cucumber vines.

Good thing we had the small beds to keep us grounded. Andy went wild at the garden shop and was ready to buy enough seed to supply a Third World country with three meals a day for two months and keep a Biofuel plant in corn for the next six.

Note: Behind Andy is one of our olive groves. They just seem to grow and grow without needing our bumbling help. Now that’s my kind of gardening!