Every spring I imagine my ideal garden: weed free, self-tilling, self-watering, disease-resistant, a garden safe from hungry, pesky bugs and critters. Every spring for the past seven years I set out to my little strip of trucked-in topsoil behind the garage of our Lanesboro farm house, determined to coax the ideal garden out of the ground this time, at last! And every midsummer about the time a good dry spell sets in, I am humbled by the many troubles that have cropped up in my perfect little garden. The weeds have somehow managed to out-strip everything – many as tall as I am (granted, I’m short). Still, it’s sobering to realize how entirely I’ve lost my focus on weeding and watering, how compacted the soil has become, how cabbage moths and tomato blight have taken a harsh toll.