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The Slice: Spring’s bounty of dreams

Sat., March 19, 2011, midnight

With spring just hours away, it’s time to start thinking about imaginary gardens.

These fertile, theoretical plots are the specialty of fantasy vegetable-growers such as yours truly.

I suspect I’m not the only one in the Spokane area who engages in such daydreams.

Real gardening, from what I understand, involves a fair amount of work and fretting. And it sounds like there is a lot to know.

But all you need for an imaginary garden is a comfortable chair, a cold beverage and an ability to visualize a bountiful harvest of tomatoes and beans.

Oh, sure, you don’t actually wind up with any produce at the end of the summer. But there are some advantages to a hypothetical garden. I’ll list just a few.

1. You never have to abandon your organic approach and haul out the chemicals.

2. You don’t lie awake in bed wondering if raccoons or deer are snacking on the fruit of your labors.

3. You are less apt to get stung by yellowjackets.

4. Early frost? No problem.

Of course, you can’t beat a real garden. Here’s why.

1. You can get away from your family for a while.

2. You can enter a mutant gourd in a contest at the fair.

3. Growing food yourself is said to be incredibly satisfying.

4. You can harass friends and co-workers with a bumper crop of zucchini

5. Few things are cooler than a high-mileage pair of garden gloves.

6. Straw hats.

7. Old dog sleeping nearby.

8. All those hours on your knees just might give you the time you need to figure out your life.

Today’s Slice question: People in our area see a lot of national TV commercials depicting hyperdiverse groups of friends. (You know, smiling consumers of every conceivable race, creed and color.) Well, when those of us here see these advertisements, are we more apt to think “So that’s what social life is like in more multicultural parts of the country” or “You know, I’m not sure the producers of that commercial are actually depicting mainstream reality in a largely self-segregated society”?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail The Slice salutes those who take the time to write actual letters to elderly relatives and friends who do not do e-mail.

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