Saturday, September 29, 2007

Howdy from OKC!

I'm immersed in the Garden Writers meeting in Oklahoma City, OK right now and lots of blogging talk is going on. The level of awareness from last year's meeting to this one is remarkable. There is a podcast workshop this afternoon, database driven book talk after that, and now I'm running off to a digital photo storing session. Something tells me I'll have to add several more to-do items to my list post-show.
So far I've not eatten too well, but I hope to remedy that with a Slow Food dinner invite I got for tonight.
Apologies for the lack of photos. I've taken plenty but cannot upload them to my laptop.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Putting the Garten Back in the Kinder

It is Thursday all day today! Here is an online link to this week's The List: Top Home & Garden Events on page 27 of today's print edition in the Washington Examiner.

Here is a cool link courtesy of the DC Green Infrastructure Collaborative. This is an interactive map of all the DC schools with gardens complete with description and photo where available. DC School Garden Week is coming up October 15-20 and I'm looking forward to personally visiting a numbrr of these gardens. Comes right in time for our Nov/Dec '07 "Gardening with Children" theme issue that I'm working on. Maybe now every Kindergarten will be an actual Children's Garden!

Last night I was invited to the monthly gathering of the Landscape Designers Group and thanks to an invite by local landscape designer Pat Howell. What great hosts they were! The first garden we visited featured a Faerie Garden. Sydney, the homeowner's daughter, gave me the grand tour and I must say I'm impressed with her knowledge of the plants and also of faerie lore. She correctly pointed out that I would not be able to see any ACTUAL faeries until Midnight, but that I could play with the pretend ones she had. She also named several favorite things growing around her yard including a blueberry bush which she claimed already yielded fruit during its first season in the garden. Sydney is picture here demonstrating the size of the Colocasia 'Black Magic' aka Elephant Ear.

Now I'm off to prep for my Channel 4 at 4pm appearance today - though it may be rescheduled due to the predicted storms. We need the rain desperately and I need the time to pack and get ready for my flight to GWA meeting in OKC, so if it gets postponed I will not be too upset.

UPDATE: The rain held off (will it ever come?!) and I just came back from doing the live segment on Channel 4. I felt like I sweated buckets out there in the current heat and humidity. They wrote it up in their News4@4 blog and put a nice link to us in their Online Extras section.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Yeah, what he said!

My Dad went to Purdue and I still have family in Indiana, so the headline to this story caught my eye. Glad I read it - fascinating stuff and begs for a similar survey to be done in every municipality. Then for action to be taken. At left here is a parking lot spanning two city blocks turned rain garden in downtown DC where the old DC Convention Center once stood (9th and H Streets, NW). That new lot is a great example of how to do a large parking lot and integrate green elements should you have to have one. Here are some relevant quotes from the article on parking space and responsible land use:

"Purdue University researchers surveyed the total area devoted to parking in a midsize Midwestern county and found that parking spaces outnumbered resident drivers 3-to-1 and outnumbered resident families 11-to-1. The researchers found the total parking area to be larger than 1,000 football fields, or covering more than two square miles."

Not only that, but the study conducted by researchers at Purdue University in Indiana, also found that car parks are bad for the environment, as they tend to increase water pollution and raise urban temperatures.

The Purdue researchers counted driveways and parking spaces in the sprawling car parks that are built near large shopping complexes for their study, which focused on a midsize county in the Midwest.

They found that there were three times more parking spaces than drivers, and 11 parking spaces for every family that lives in the county.

"Even I was surprised by these numbers," Bryan Pijanowski, the associate professor of forestry and natural resources who led the study, said in a statement. "Do we need this much parking space?"

Pijanowski said the findings "typify a troubling trend: Americans are paving an increasing percentage of land each year for their cars and trucks."

Farmers could produce 250,000 bushels of corn in the same space taken up by the parking lots, he said.

Full story here at PlanetZen and here at Yahoo News. The most troubling part of the story is when you view the Yahoo News version it is completely surrounded by moving, in-your-face SUV ads.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Second Choice, but not Second Best

Coming up later this week is the big annual meeting of the Garden Writers Association. (If you join the group, please let them know you heard about it from me so I get credited.) A group of about 400 of us from across the nation and the world will gather in Oklahoma City, OK to tour gardens, network, and dish the dirt. OK City is NOT my first choice of destination. Besides no direct flights from here to there and it not being part of my editorial coverage area, when I mention the destination no one who hears it says, "Gee, I wish I was going!" I'm keeping an open mind though and expect to thoroughly suck up everything a can possible learn at the event.

I just got asked last week to fill in for a panelist who dropped out last minute on the "Meet the Magazine Editors" seminar. Here is the description: "Magazine editors from prominent publications will share their editorial needs, offer contributor guidelines, submitting query letters and answer questions from the audience." I'm not listed yet on the web site or promo materials, something I hope will be corrected swiftly. I agreed in part for a chance to promote Washington Gardener Magazine of course, but also because I think it will be fun and interesting. Plus, being part of panel is a lot easier than being responsible for a talk all on my own.

Pictured here is the highly successful Garden Writers Region 2 meeting here in DC last June that I co-organized with Cheval Force Opp.

BTW, I did NOT win the GWA Region 2 Director position I was nominated for. I did not actually campaign and I had to try to vote 3 separate times myself on their new online-only ballot system before it was registered and confirmed, so I should definitely not be surprised that the incumbent won. Will see if I'm even motivated to be up for anything next year.

If you don't hear from me for a few days around 9/30 this trip is why. Hope we get some good soaking rains while I'm away!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Cats and Kittens

Had last week's GCA Fashion in Bloom at Homestead Gardens event taken place just a month earlier I'd have used this shot as my cover image for our Sept/Oct '07 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine. The sedums that make up this cat are known to me as Hens & Chicks, but I have also heard them referred to once or twice as Cats & Kittens. It only makes sense to use them to create a living, life-size sculpture of a cat. They are also the subject of our current cover story (Hardy Succulents). At the event was also a sedum sheep grazing, a sedum rooster crowing, and the company named written in sedum hanging on the side of a wooden shed. The sedum letters are of most interest to me -- what a great idea for a garden at any office, school, or retail store. The Fashion in Bloom is to preview what is new and hot in next year's garden plants. I saw a lot of "I wants," but not too much "I need." I'll be featuring some of the new intros in our magazine's Jan/Feb '08 issue and also throughout the year in our Washington Gardener Enews "Spotlight Special" column.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

God-Given Right to Start a Business?

The WAMU segment that aired last Friday is now archived on their web site. Se "A Slice of the Desert in the Washington Garden." Whenever I do this show, I get lots of feedback and what amuses me the most is when people tell me they heard me on "NPR." I wish! Close enough anyway as WAMU does carry some NPR programming on its airwaves - while the Metro Connection show is a local WAMU production. Nice to just be in the company of Garrison Keillor and Diane Rehm.

This morning I did a live segment on WUSATV9. After being out all day yesterday and up to the wee hours partying, I managed a total of 3.5 hours of sleep. Not the greatest time management decisions I've ever made and I was sure cursing my boneheadedness when the getting dressed at 6:00am. To make sure I got up I programmed my TV alarm to be set to the early Sunday morn local evangelical preachers. Most days I can laze in bed with the best of them, but nothing gets my booty in gear like a little hellfire and brimstone. You'll get up - if only to shut it off!

One of the guys today was talking about how God chose the ministry for him, but his own personal choice was to be an entrepreneur and that God further tortured him by having him advise flock members when they came to him for advice on their own budding businesses which he clearly envied and thought he could do better than them. Hearing this I could only shake my head. Why could he not also start a few sideline businesses? Why is that mutually exclusive to preaching? And how can he be so positive that God did not want him to take that entrepreneur path instead since he obviously has an aptitude and leaning for it? Maybe I just need to sleep on that.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Which Camera Do I Look Into?

It is Thursday all day today! Here is an online link to this week's The List: Top Home & Garden Events on page 27 of today's print edition in the Washington Examiner. This image is courtesy of the Remodeling & Home Decor Show. I like this DIY painter as she reminds me of some outdoor decor paint projects I need to add to my ever-expanding To-Do list.

I’m on Channel 9 on Sunday 9/23 at 8:00am and Channel 4 on Thursday 9/27 at 4:00pm doing “Succulent/Fall Planting” pieces. On both shows look for me towards the end of the broadcast around :45 past the hour.

Margaret Webb Pressler of the Washington Post (Sunday) Magazine interviewed me this week for her "Making It" column on staring a business of my own. Since I have found inspiration from reading her column, I'm excited to see how my story will fit in. Who knows? It may spark someone to quit her job and make the leap to entrepreneurship too. The photo session to go with the piece is this Saturday. It will be interesting to see how a formal, in-studio photo shoot goes. Again, I have no idea what to wear at this point. The issue should be out 10/14.

Finally I did a radio interview with WAMU Metro Connection show on Monday - that should air this Friday 10:00am - this gets archived on their site so you can listen anytime and is played live online too.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Copycat Covers

Now I don't think that either Horticulture or The American Gardener actually copied each other -- but I was stunned when both mags arrived in my mailbox the same day this week and both featured Colchicums on the cover. Sure a fall blooming bulb is a great choice, but what are the odds? Thank goodness I did not go with the bulb-theme cover also! The local newstand's garden section could have been a solid display of bright pink.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Go Car Free and Care Free Today

As some of you may know, I'm car-free 24-7-365. Today is officially CarFreeDC Day and the 22nd is WorldCarFreeDay. I urge each of you to get out in the fresh air and walk or bike on this gorgeous day. Take bus,metro or train if needed. Everyone thinks that the traffic in/around DC would be just great if everyone else would just get off the road. Time to do your part.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Autumn's Arrival

The September 15, 2007 issue of the Washington Gardener Enews is now out and archived here. The feature article is on Autumn Annuals. The Reader Contest this month is for two different local events: the Remodeling & Home Decor Show, September 21-23, at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, VA, and the Green Festival DC on October 6-7 at the Washington Convention Center, WDC. We have lots of passes to give out so your odds of winning are very good -- I'd go so far as to say exceptional. Please only enter though if you are actually planning to go to these shows and using the passes.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

In The Pink: Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

My first time participating in Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Truthfully, it could not be on a worse day for me - the 15th of the month always finds me scrambling to get the Washington Gardener Enews finished and sent out. The current issue is now uploading so I have a minute to put up these three pics from my garden this afternoon. I have about 25 more bloomers today, but decided instead of throwing them all up here I'd go with a pink-theme display. From left to right here are a Japanese Anemone, Cosmos, and Wiegela shrub.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Whipping Your Garden Into Shape

Our latest article in the Washington Examiner is out today. Read the article online here (Real Estate section - September 14 2007 edition - page 14), or grab the print version at the red street boxes around town today - the article is on R14 (Real Estate section - page 14). It is on Garden Coaches. When researching this trend I found a great many "garden coaches" out there that have been doing it for decades, they just called themselves something else -- mentor, consultant, etc. -- and many of them did the service for free for friends and family. Like other domestic and home arts, gardening is getting crowded out of people's busy schedules and certainly few have the time to take a new gardener under their wing, so for newbies hiring a garden coach for a few hours of hand-holding just makes sense.
Now that I mention the time-crunch, I'm off to crank out the September 15 edition of our Washington Gardener Enews . I just got back from a morning visiting the Mall gardens and a Ladybug Release at the NMAI. Lots of eager young entomologists and horticulturists there. (Some pictured here.) Hope to see many more at the Brookside Children's Day event tomorrow.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Childhood Innocence

It's Thursday again, so here is an online link to this week's The List: Top Home & Garden Events on page 26 of today's print edition in the Washington Examiner. Featured event is the Brookside Children's Day where we'll have a booth and being doing our seed-matching game. Come by to be stumped!
Our staff photog, Drena, took this photo at the Brookside Children's Day in 2005. If this doesn't make you long for days of carefree youth, nothing will. Conicidentally, I saw a screening of My Child Could Paint That yesterday and it was disturbing on several levels. The documentary covers a 4-year-old art world sensation and questions the nature of modern art. Deeper than that we look at what happens when a preschooler gets bombarded by overnight fame. Then comes the ultimate question: did SHE really do that? And what if she didn't? If the paintings were say done by a 35-year-old man are they still the same paintings? See it when it comes out and make up your own mind.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Shacka-Lacka-BOOM, What was that? Aftershock!

I just got off the air from an interview about Baby Boomers & Gardening on The Heather Taylor Show. It airs Wednesdays, 12noon-1pm on WMET 1160 on the AM dial in DC and now broadcasts just a few blocks from my house in the World Building. It goes out live online too and is archived at the WMET site, so those outside the area or stuck at work can tune in too. Heather's talk show is "the DC area’s first and only radio talk show just for Boomers." Today's topics were "Sept 12, 2007: Second and Third Chances: The New Entrepreneurship in Fashion, Beauty, and Gardening." Heather gave me the first segment and a generous amount of air time plus a nice link at her web site to ours. We talked about starting a second career, marketing your business, and then delved into boomer gardening advice.

I gave a nice plug for one of my favorite garden tools the Cobrahead weeder and cultivator. I can't say enough good things about it - I won't say it makes weeding "a pleasure," but it sure makes it a heck of a lot less burdensome. Being just 39 myself, it is interestingly to look ahead to my forthcoming gardening years. I'll be staring 40 in the face next June and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I do know that I feel better and healthier than I did at 20 and I hope that trends continues. Everyone says they want an active, well-balanced life. In my yoga classes, I see many inspirational women and men who are much more flexible and energetic than myself and are at least a few decades older. How wonderful it'd be to join their club when I'm that age.

Baby Boomers have not always been on my A list. As a GenXer, it is sometimes grating to be so fully tucked in their shadow and see the way the media lionizes them along with the youngsters Generation Next. When you are a Baby Bust generation, you only get the limelight and marketing focus for a fleeting couple of years. It kinda sucks to be so dominated by the Beatles and Britney. It is like how Canadians must feel sometimes, "I'm NOT the USA or the UK. Can I get a little respect and attention without the constant comparisons." You know?

One thing I AM grateful to Boomers for is paving the way in aging issues. Every time there is a news story about aging, senior living, diseases of the elderly, etc., I think how glad I am that they are doing it before me, cause I know that every aspect will be microscopically picked apart and explored by them. Then, as I age, I just set back and reap the benefits of all those mega amounts of research dollars and collective angst. Not only that, but the definition of "old" keeps getting reinterpreted and the numbers are going my way-- 60 is the new 30? That makes me the new 18, right? Not such a bad deal to be the baby sister after all.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

That's Ecoganic, Baby

Washington Gardener Magazine will be at the Penn Quarter FreshFarmMarket this Thursday, 9/13 from 3-7pm at 8th & E Sts near Gallery Place.

Come by to get your gardening questions answered, sign up for a subscription, renew your subscription, or purchase a gift subscription. We'll also have the single copies of the current Sept/Oct '07 issue for sale and a limited number of back issues on hand too. Don't forget to sample and buy some fresh and delicious locally grown food while you are there!

The okra display that I photographed at the markets last month says "ecoganic" in the top right of the price sign. I googled it and turns out this local farmer invented the word in lieu of getting the official Federal organic certification, even though they do grow organically. I certainly understand why -- the tedious process, application costs, and other hoops that growers have to go through do not make it worthwhile for the small farm operation.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pulp Nonfiction

Eagle-eyed readers of Washington Gardener Magazine may have noticed that in our current issue we have a little symbol that indicates we are now FSC-certified. That means that the Forest Stewardship Council guarantees that the paper we are printed on comes from wood harvested in a certified well-managed forest.

In order to use the FSC logo as an "environmental claim" on paper, the product must have flowed through the FSC "chain-of-custody" from the FSC-certified forest, to a paper manufacturer, merchant, and finally printer who have FSC chain-of-custody certification. That is not an easy process to go through. Our new printers, Mosaic, have done so. Further, they are carbon-neutral (by purchasing wind-generated energy and purchasing reforestation) and use a waterless printing process.

We are still using ChorusArt Gloss Text paper which is 50% recycled - 25% post-consumer content. We also are printed with soy ink. Could you safely eat the magazine? Probably, but we'd prefer you recycle it by passing it on to another local gardener to read.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Staff Photog Puts on a Show

Our magazine's staff photographer strikes out on her own for her first solo photography showing:
Life’s Little Adventures
Photographs by Drena J. Galarza
An exhibit celebrating the beauty of our everyday lives.
Please join us for the opening reception on
Friday, September 21, 2007
5:00 - 7:00 pm
The Adams National Bank
8121 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(bottom of the World Building)
More details about the artist at
Drena is pictured here in the hollow log of the Brookside's children's garden. (See both of us at Brookside on 9/15 for Children's Day.) She took photos of me in this same log that I used for my editor's column picture in the current Washington Gardener issue. I'm getting a lot of comments and compliments on it. Apparently, I'm "cute as a button." Hmph, so much for my glamorous, avant-garde aspirations. I suppose I've been called worse things than "cute" ;-).
If you've also posed in this log yourself, please send a low-res file of the photo and I'll post it here. Be fun to see the variety of local log-lurkers we have out there. When we took the shots there I told Drena that everyone poses at this same spot and that we should start a collection of portraits there of various movers-and-shakers in the local hort world posed in the log. Maybe that can be her next photo show?

Friday, September 07, 2007

Ken Can Garden Too

Don't say I never gave you any eye-candy! Here Ken assists Barbie's gardening efforts by digging a planting hole in the brutal DC summer humidity and he never breaks a sweat! Sure, leather pants and black cowboy boots are a bit "hot" for a day in the dirt, but he looks good doing it and with his limited wardrobe choices it was garden in this outfit, a wedding tux, or swim trunks. He could have borrowed GI Joe's fatigues, though I have those on Ebay auction right now to raise money for some more Barbie's garden accessories. Guns for flowers, so to speak. Got to have my priorities straight, you know.
Enjoy the weekend and if you get a chance come by and see me at the Friends of Brookside Plant sale Saturday morning-to-afternoon or the free Simplicity Matters' Sustainable Garden talk Sunday evening.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Welcome Peas

I took a few minutes this past holiday weekend to paint a new back door welcome sign. I use to craft quite regularly, but in the last few years' time crunch have totally ignored most of my projects. I felt this one was needed though as the door needed "something" and all my other signs are holiday/seasonal. This one will do for in the in-between holidays period. The fabric painting actually went fairly quickly - I traced the peas from a pattern book. The canvas sign is from Oriental Trading. I have about 20 more blank banners in my craft storage. Next time my niece's come over for an extended visit I think I'll put them to work on making a few more.

It's Thursday again, so here is an online link to this week's The List: Top Home & Garden Events on page 26 of today's print edition in the Washington Examiner. This time it is the Best of Fall '07 Mega-List - a Top 9 selection for events taking place in this fall season instead of the usual Top 5 events for the upcoming weekend.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Sedum or Leave 'Em

As promised, here are a couple pics of my sedums. The top is 'Neon' - it is a patch near my front door and the one that gets regularly pummeled by newspapers flung at it. Still holds up pretty well, nice bright foliage in a part shade spot. When its blooms open in a week or so, they will be bright pink. The bottom pic is 'Autumn Joy.' This patch is near the downspout off my sun room and in theory would get a lot more sun than the 'Neon' but the Caryopteris and Russian Sage next to have grown into monsters and block most of the direct rays. It is just about to bloom. The flowers will be a russet red color and the foliage is more a mid- green. The other day I saw Whole Foods was selling cut 'Autumn Joy' bunches in their florist section. I hadn't really thought of using them as cut flowers. If I did that it would leave some ugly stubs out there in the garden and that would ruin any off-season interest from the seedheads that dry rather prettily in the late autumn. I think I'll let them stay as garden border plants and take my cut flowers from plants that will spring back more readily.

If you want to read about what area plants do well for us, here is a link to a local blogger, Kathleen Franklin at She has written for Audubon Naturalist News and operates the blog to support her garden consulting business. She is also a certified Maryland Master Gardener. What I like is that the blog is focused squarely on my very topic of choice -- gardening here in the Mid-Atlantic/great Washington DC region. Check her page out and leave a comment if the mood strikes you.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Love That New Mag Smell

The September/October 2007 of Washington Gardener is now out. This issue is all about Succulents that are hardy in our region. The article on sedums is especially good. They are a great "no fail" plant, especially for beginners, and one I love to share since it is so easy to propagate. My 'Autumn Joy' and 'Neon' sedums are looking especially good in this drought period. I'll take a few pics of them and share them in a later post.

This issue was put in the mail stream over a week ago, which is always a crapshot -- some subscribers will get it today, others will get it in 3-4 weeks. It is a similar game of chance with getting it into stores. Though I know for a fact that there are 10 copies sitting on display in Alchemy right now and another 5 should be out at the USNA Arbor House by today. Should also be in DC-area Barnes & Noble, Borders, and B. Dalton shortly as well - but as I say - seems up to the whims of the gods no matter how much I sacrifice to them at my compost pile.

Our August 2007 Washington Gardener Reader Contest winner is Wendy Bell of Takoma Park, MD. She received a big, healthy Cranes Bill Hardy Geranium ‘Rozanne’ perennial plant (worth $15) donated by The Perennial Farm. We profiled this plant in our current (July/August 2007) issue of Washington Gardener Magazine. This geranium is heat-resistant and drought-hardy. It has one of the longest bloom times of any hardy geranium. No surprise that it has been named 2008 Perennial Plant of the Year and will be available in a garden centers everywhere next spring. Stay tuned for our September 2007 Washington Gardener Reader Contest to be announced soon.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Fake OUT

The Washington Post printed a Newsday article entitled, "Artificial Life for Tired Gardens
Fake Flowers Provide a Flourish of Color With More Variety, Less Upkeep" this past Saturday. It has taken me two days to recover from this terrorist act. I will NOT be showing a photo of this travesty against nature here. But you can view it at this article link. This piece was buried in the back of the Real Estate section on a holiday weekend. It should never have seen the light of day.

The article's author writes, "Although using artificial flowers indoors has long been acceptable -- socially speaking -- few have dared to put their arrangements in the front yard." You are DEAD WRONG. Artificial plants and flowers are NOT socially acceptable or passable. For instance on HGTV's recent show, the "25 Biggest Decorating Mistakes". Number one on their list was fake flowers. The only people you see pushing them as "totally fine" are the manufacturers and sellers of them. Their argument being "you can't tell the difference." That is complete BS! You can tell from 20 feet away on most of them and those that take any inspection or scrutiny you immediately recoil at the lack of sent, live texture, and warmth.

The subject of this piece, Honey Starr, says, "No one ever, ever thinks they're fake." Newsflash, lady-whose-name-makes-you-assume-she-is-a-stripper! They all think ands know they are fake, They are just too polite to say anything to your face, but believe they are saying it behind your back.

What really spun my wheels in this piece was the effort she puts into this fake display -- spending hundreds of dollars on these fake-os, changing it out seasonally, fluffing them up, etc. Buying real annuals and plotting them in would be ever so much less work. The only additional effort I see would be watering them regularly -- that is if they are in containers and if you did not get enough rainfall.

A side bar to the story on just how to incorporate fakes in your outdoor landscape begins: >"You want to do it in good taste," advises Shelley Greenberg of TerracottaHome...< I think that is an impossible task, Shelley. That is like saying go ahead and dress like a hoochie-mama, just as long as you "do it in good taste."

My big gripes on this (beside the taste factor) are:
1. You are adding plastic to the landfill and giving NOTHING back to the environment - think of the poor birds, bees, butterfllies, etc. who are deprived of a habitat. If you want low-mainteance, letting your yard go to weeds would be much more preferable as far as Mother Nature is concerned.
2. You are getting nothing from the gardening experience and depriving yourself of a spiritual connection to the Earth - with an instant gardener just for show - you are merely decorating your lawn like a cheap hotel lobby. Is that really the life you want to live? You miss the enriching opportunity to nurture something from start to finish -- even if you fail, you learned something. And when you succeed, you can be savor the reward as your own.
3. What's next fake veggie patches? Where you buy blemish-free produce at the supermarket, come home and arrange it "artfully" on some fake ivy vines? Then wait for your neighbors to get home so you can go out and "pick" the tomatoes and brag about your great crop. Where does the fakeness end?

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