On Saturday morning, I attended a conference in Fairfield, Iowa for food entrepreneurs—less because I am a food entrepreneur, more because I never turn down an opportunity to try local, organic cheese. Before the conference began, I stood in a group of three: me, a friend of mine from Iowa City who had tipped me off to the conference, and a radio disc jockey from Fairfield.
My Iowa City friend said she thought my gardening skills really aren’t that bad. “Now me, on the other hand…my grandfather was a florist, and I kill mint,” she said.
“I have you both beat,” the disc jockey said. “I killed a cactus.”
The two of us stared at him for a second. I contemplated what it would take to actually kill a cactus. Aren’t they supposed to rock on in brutal conditions?
“How did you do that?” I asked. “Did you forget to water it?”
He just smiled. And then I smiled. Because, in fact, while I might have killed a lot of plants in my day, I can honestly say I’ve never killed a cactus.
Then again, I’ve never planted one, either.