Can’t pass the vegetables

It finally occurred to me as I stood there, wearing more dirt than a busy groundhog while hopping and squiggling more than a big litter of excited puppies.

I’m a shopaholic.

No, it has nothing to do with nice clothes or even hunting and fishing equipment (though I’m always intrigued by a new style of fly or lure).

I’m addicted to buying vegetable plants. Seriously, I can’t seem to stop myself anytime I pass a display of anything from tomatoes to some unheard of kind of Asian squash.

Every year I swear my garden will be smaller and every year it ends up being bigger. So it is this year, too.

It’s been about a week since my inner urges for more and bigger produce took over this spring.

I’d headed to a nursery in Hesston with a well-defined list for pepper, tomato and squash plants. Their selection was terrible and prices high. They lacked many of the varieties I wanted and those they had in-stock were withered or mere sprigs at best.

So I bought as many plants as I’d planned anyway.

“No problem,” I thought, “I’ll just head to another place in Newton and grab a cherry tomato plant to round-out the mix. It won’t take but a few seconds.”

I was so sure of the plan I didn’t even swing by home to rid myself of the two cups of coffee I’d had earlier in the morning.

Walking into the plant place a nice woman offered me a box for my shopping.

I declined, telling her I was only in for one tomato plant.

And then I hit the aisles. Rather than 30 seconds my shopping took 30 minutes as I went back and forth through their selection of plants that was better and bigger than what I’d seen in Hesston.

Eventually in my arms I cradled almost as many plants as I’d purchased earlier. Thankfully my bladder eventually over-ruled my veggie-frantic¬† brain and I headed for the cash register.

I must have been quite the sight, trying to balance all of those plants while trying to hide an obvious “gottapee, gottapee, gottapee” dance routine.

But I survived and got the plants paid-for, plus a package of radish tape near the cash register, and headed home.¬† Only when I got home did I realize I’d left the place without even buying the silly cherry tomato plant that had caused my stop at that store!

So after getting a bit of relief at home Kathy and I headed to yet another store in Newton. And there I found the cherry tomato plant of my dreams…and much bigger and cheaper examples of every kind of plant I’d already purchased.

So I bought more of those, too.

My name is Michael and I’m a veggie plant shopaholic.

Because of it my family and friends will be eating healthy and well throughout the summer and early fall.