By the time the fall fair in Emo is over, you have a pretty good idea of how this year’s gardens have turned out.
But if you think strolling through the displays of award winning fruits and vegetables gives you the answer, think again. You also will not be able to depend on the lies . . . er, reports, from neighbours of a bountiful harvest.
So how do you gauge that bountiful harvest? You have to use more subtle investigative techniques.
Sweet corn is one delight that used to be pretty much dependable. But with the current massive infestation of raccoons, skunks, bears, and corn borer across the district, you’ll have to be more than lucky to harvest a good supply.
And if you do luck out, there’s a better than even chance the poachers, announced by slamming car doors in the wee hours, will signal the final decimation of your crop.
In the old days, simply viewing the traffic to the area outhouses could pretty much tell you how bountiful the corn crop was. But not with today’s indoor plumbing.
Here’s the trick. Observe the crowd heading down to pick up the mail, preferably Monday morning, after a weekend of family feasting and when the heavy load of bills and flyers arrive.
You can bet those with a hurried, confident stride—taking the steps two at a time—have a total crop failure.
Meanwhile those taking short, cautious steps—and intently concentrating on their location and progress—have a bumper crop. You can confirm this by watching to see if they quickly detour into the café and make a beeline for the john.
Nothing quite like a massive feed of sweet corn, particularly if accompanied by a big plate of ripe tomatoes and burpless cucumbers, to test the control of bodily functions.
So now that you know how to locate the bounty, and who to mooch off, proper garden season etiquette comes into play. Avoid embarrassment by following these few important rules:
First, don’t insist on stopping that fidgeting friend on the street and relating the latest belly-laugh inducing story.
Secondly, never . . . NEVER . . . poke that same friend unexpectedly in the belly, or some other bodily location, particularly if they are bent over checking their mailbox. You’ll both be sorry.
Thirdly, that old two-holer outback should be cleaned of cobwebs and certainly sprayed for wasps and hornets. Throw in a couple of past editions of the paper and post a welcome sign on the door.
But caution, make sure the inside latch is removed. After all, it is a two-holer and you never know when unexpected company might have to drop in.
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