Earlier in the summer, I wrote about a kitchen experiment I had going on. I had discovered that if you cut off the root ends of certain vegetables and put them in a small container of water, they will start to grow again. My first success was celery, and I followed that with two kinds of lettuce, a leek, and even a small bok choy. Before long I had a kitchen table full of mugs sprouting new leaves and looking gorgeous.
A month or so passed, and the new plants had started to outgrow their little pots. Meanwhile, the tomato plant on my front porch had succumbed to old age, so i dug it out, refreshed the soil, and planted all my new little sprouts out there. i would surely have enough leaf lettuce and romaine to carry me through the fall, I thought.
But I forgot to factor in the eating habits of the other denizens of my front porch -- a blue-tailed skink and a sassy little chipmunk. They both provide hours of entertainment for my house-bound cats, who simple curl up every morning in front of the glass door and wait for the show to begin.
One by one, my plants began to look a little ragged. And then one morning the romaine lettuce was gone. Not just the leaves chewed off, but the whole plant, roots and all, dug out and gone, with only a neat little hole left behind. The leaf lettuce was next, followed by the celery, which had developed some pencil-sized stalks. And then the bok choy disappeared! I' trying to visualize a chipmunk with a container of takeout Chinese food!
The leek is the only survivor of my garbage garden, and it's getting pretty big. Do you think the little thieves are avoiding it because they don't want onion breath? Or is it only a matter of time before the fifth hole appears in my vegetable garden?