Are you new at growing a vegetable garden in an urban environment then you had better think twice! I bet you’ve heard of stories where farmers have lost all their crops .Well my story will probably only make you laugh!

Let’s backtrack to  three months ago around late April when my wife and I chose our  planting strategies. Picture the corn stalks climbing about two feet off the ground and the bountiful beds of lettuce and collard greens , beets, and carrots etc. We were psyched but lets’ fast forward to the present and see what you think about gardening and especially about growing a garden in your back yard.

  If you are a gardener or a lover of the green stuff then you know exactly the thrill of victory when you notice your first the flowering and pollination that is necessary to produce most vegetables and fruit. 

 During the end of Spring, like clockwork, we experienced the distinct taste of fresh lettuce and baby zuchs and leafy sturdy luscious spinach at dinner time. We were getting our green on but all of a sudden the landscape changed.  Just recently,we ran into a couple of weeks of desert-like dry weather that brought out the bad and the ugly. No matter how much water the garden received from us it became very difficult to supplement the plants from the root system up. A fourth of the crops planted began to wilt …growth had diminished….I changed my strategy to investing time both in the morning and at dawn to try to turn things around… I prayed for rain but heard only that the heat would linger  in the upper 90s for the rest of the week.  I mentioned to myself that what if I did this for a living what on earth would I do in a drought. Ok, we don’t need to go that far because we began this project because we truly enjoy gardening and secondly what a great way to save a little money from having to buy veggies for one summer.

 Things just got worst……seventeen pears were missing from the little pear tree…ok someone in the neighborhood dislike us we thought…could it be a squirrel we normally admire at a distance? The next day the lettuce disappeared along with the collard greens the following day. The octagon corn garden looked like a tornado had paid it a visit. I was forewarned that squirrels love Corn.  I  subsequently became very frustrated. I considered purchasing a BB gun….no that’s not me nor my wife….traps  maybe after noticing the rodent- like character totally in a nirvana-like state sitting upright eating the collard greens.  I  quickly dashed outside to no avail as the critter ran below the deck and field next door.

 It has since rained and I have moved on to other tasks outside of the garden. We have taken this moment to actually laugh about what had transpired.  The remaining beds have been weeded and draped with netting and chicken wire and for good measure I have sprinkled fox urine in powder form at strategic places around our property.  I suppose somewhere in all of this  my ego got the best of me which resulted in my learning and acknowledgement that the critters I am trying to keep out of the garden are primarily vegetarian and  were inhabitants long ago.  

So , gardening is more than getting dirty and planting seeds . It ‘s more about servant leadership least when it comes to co-existing with all the critters that surrounds us ..the real urban habitat!


 Curt Canada ,an Executive Coach writes periodically  about his work and life experiences he finds meaningful ! Curt encourages you to learn more about his work in Servant Leadership and Personal Development. Visit Curt at