Saturday Single No. 339

Even as the snow came down less than ten days ago, giving us our second April snowfall of eight inches or more, the Texas Gal looked out the window and planned her gardens. Actually, her planning for the coming summer’s gardens began last fall. “I think,” she said in November, “we’ll do fewer tomatoes and more potatoes next summer, and we won’t bother with the corn.”

Or she might have said more tomatoes and no green beans, or another try at wax beans and fewer yellow squash, or no eggplant and more carrots. As the winter wore on, she juggled ideas for the coming summer’s gardens, looking past the snowdrifts and the icicles to see black dirt, green leaves and sunshine. And now, with the yard and the two gardens finally (we hope) clear of snow, the serious planning can start.

So this morning, we made our first trip to the big box store where we’ve stocked up in other years on plants, seeds, gardening tools and other goods. Among the items on today’s list were lumber, fence posts and chicken wire. Why? Well, last year, the gardener next to us in the community plot built an L-shaped frame about four feet tall and eight feet long on each leg. She then nailed chicken wire to the frame, and it became home to her cucumbers.

We could easily see that it saved space in the garden – cucumbers tend to wander out of the lines into the areas where other plants already reside – and it made picking the cucumbers much easier. “I want one of those,” the Texas Gal told me over the winter. “Can you make one?”

I looked at the frame and nodded slowly. I easily envisioned a basic design in my head, and from that, I calculated the necessary materials and their quantities. “I think so,” I said.

And I still think so, but today is the day that thought becomes action. We brought home from the big box some eight-foot long two-by-twos, three metal fence posts and a fifty-foot roll of chicken wire, as well as a box of three-inch nails and one of U-shaped staples. So as soon as I finish here, I’ll pull four of the two-by-twos into the basement, where they have a date with the sabre saw that came to me from my father’s workshop.

And then I’ll head outside and, with assistance from the Texas Gal, put together a cucumber frame.

I’ll be honest. I’m not sure how it’s going to go. I have very little experience building things, even something as simple as a cucumber frame. Years ago, I built a rough bookcase and equally rough bookshelf. Those went well, as did the construction around the same time of a wooden platform for a metal storage shed.

But that was a long time ago. Any skills I sharpened during those projects have long since dulled. I know it’s only a cucumber frame, and I know that aesthetic considerations are way down on the list of needs to satisfy during its building. But I want to do it well, and I am uncertain I can.

I’ll find out shortly. Before that, however, here’s the only song that fits here today, Tim Hardin’s “If I Were A Carpenter.” This is Bob Seger’s version from his 1972 album of covers, Smokin’ O.P.’s, and it’s today’s Saturday Single.

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2 Responses to “Saturday Single No. 339”

  1. Yah Shure says:

    “I looked at the frame and nodded slowly.”

    Well, at least you did nod, if not entirely enthusiastically. 🙂 Best of luck with the Wall Of Cukes project.

  2. […] brackets, and I’ll come back home and once again try my hand at simple construction. Last year, my project was a frame on which to grow cucumbers. This year, I’m building two planter boxes – four feet […]

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