Last week, work was so busy that I didn’t have time for any gardening, aside from a little watering. In my absence, in the aura of warm weather, things have gone a little nuts. And I’m not so much talking about the weeds this time. When I went out to the vege garden on Saturday afternoon (after more work), the tomato laterals were launching a takeover bid, the pumpkins were on a stealth mission into the neighbour’s backyard and the potato stems were heading for the sky, up to 1m high. Some of the tomato plants are 1m high now too. This is awesome! I know there are a lot of Hamilton haters out there, but they obviously haven’t seen how fast and well our veges grow. ‘Nuff said.

Pumpkin Corner
Pumpkin Corner, with the sneaky pumpkin arms back in the right backyard.
Potato barrel
Potato barrel.

One thing I did last week was offload a bit of produce to my workmates. Near the start of my job, I invented a Brownie Points system for the guys, for a bit of much-needed quality control and a bit of fun. Stroke of genius. I’m onto the fourth version now. For each field data sheet that the guys submit to be typed up, they can get up to 10 points. They lose a point for each kind of infringement per page. Of course, everything is tracked on a spreadsheet. Ha, another excuse for a spreadsheet, as if I don’t have enough to type already… Each week, at 12pm on a Thursday, the places are decided by each person’s average out of 10 for the last week. Then out comes the baking I do the night before. The first placegetter gets four pieces of baking, the second, three, the third two and the last gets one. None would be too mean. The central aspects of the Brownie Points system are positive reinforcement, in the form of gaining points and baking, and the fact that guys thrive on competition with each other. It’s pretty simple really, almost like training a dog. Don’t tell them I said that…

This week I decided to do Produce Week instead of baking. With one dude away, the winner got first choice of three vege options, and so forth. There was a very large lettuce, a very large kale and a small carrot, which, funnily enough, was left to the last placegetter. Sometimes things get a little feisty, but it’s a lot of fun. It brings out the smack talk in everyone. Including myself…

Produce Week
Produce Week offerings.
Pumpkin plant
Pumpkin plant. Just stay inside my fence little fellow…
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