With Autumn underway and the harvests wrapping up it’s time once again to take stock of local vegetable gigantism. I’m talking a really in-depth look at obscene vegetable growth. Enormous tomatoes, giant pumpkins, exceptionally heavy peas, that sort of thing. Backyard garden deformities are on the rise here and for reasons you wouldn’t readily expect.

Our investigation won’t focus on the methods, although those are shot through with an inventive beautiful ugliness common to southeast Michigan. Instead we’ll look at the Why. What compels people of otherwise bland existence to draw attention to themselves this way? Is a branch of parsley the size of a man’s arm really the best expression of one’s muted hopelessness? Can the excessive fertility of a garden that produces 400 pound Swiss Chard and Buick-sized broccoli compensate for the barren fields within? Can the symphony of the garden drown out the silence of the playground?

It’s hard to eat around the denial served with liver-sized Lima beans.

Chris Weagel

Chris Weagel writes about the intersection of technology and parenting for Wired Magazine. No he doesn't. He can't stand that shit.

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