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Growing plants seems a simple concept. You take some seeds, stick them in dirt and things start happening. For a long time, however, I was under the impression that plants were a chore to be avoided, like window washing and bathing.

In a frightening shift of all things familiar, last Friday I discovered that chores can be enjoyable if you follow this simple equation: Good friends + beer = happy sunshine work fun day. (Replace “good friends” with “handsome strangers” to apply equation to showers…)

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Shipping crates and fancy dirt.

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In each crate we put a layer of stabilizing big rocks, fill gravel, clay dirt and fancy potting dirt. Ashley descends the front yard in search of marine life, particularly octopus for supper.

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Foreground: A taller dirt box we assumed we placed on an ancient burial mound. Background: Szack and Kristaff – hobo day laborers.

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Ashley continues her hunting expedition.

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Ocean front veggie beds.

Meanwhile on the other side of the lawn, we worked on another project one might consider a shitty chore – woodworking. We saved some off-size shipping pallets that were marked for annihilation in the burn barrel at work. With some clever deconstruction and reconstruction and a $10/gallon of mistake paint from the hardware store, they became window boxes!

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Szack gently destroys a pallet.

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Not shitty! Fun!

Okay…there was one unfortunate choreish part. Being a whole contingent of supervisors, not one of us cares much for cleanup, and we made a fantastic mess.

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Ashley keeps laboring with Szack as Project Manager and Kristaff as Project Supervisor. I run away and snap photos.

Cleanup really wasn’t so bad. We put our heads down and powered through it with beer, music and friendship. Beer and teamwork were also key in our rock fish taco production line. Deep fried by Kristaff and served with my garlic aioli and Szack’s cabbage & cilantro slaw, we quickly shoveled them into our starving yard worker mouths. They were pretty sublime.

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Seriously good.

A post-dinner bonfire and trip to the bar completed a very productive and surprisingly enjoyable work day. Thank you, friends. Coming soon – my first ever veggie planting jamboree! I wonder if my landlords will accept one head of cabbage in lieu of 10% of my rent.