Confessions Of A Naive Gardener: Have You Ever Heard Of A Beer Garden?

Okay, I’m from Chicago where I spent most of my adult life.  Through my travels in and around Chicago land I would often see signs stating “Beer Garden.”   Although I had never actually seen one I thought it must not be a very difficult thing to grow as the signs were pervasive.

So last Spring I decided I was going to try my hand at growing one.    Having been here in North Dakota almost five years at the time, I felt confident that I had honed my gardening skills to such a level that I would undoubtedly be successful in the endeavor.   After all I was a student of a master gardener, Buck.  Buck was not able to help me put the garden in due to illness.   

I thought what a great opportunity for me to show off by producing a nice crop of beer.   It would be my secret until I showed him the harvest of my efforts.   Gardeners love to compete with other gardeners whether they admit to it or not.

AHA! Here is my chance to show that Mike  from Minnesota and that Joe from the Carolinas a thing or two.   After all I had never heard either one of them speak about growing a beer garden.

With giddy excitement I gathered my tools, prepared the soil, and marked the rows.  Many gardeners like to grow a variety of a particular item such as tomatoes, potatoes, etc.    My beer garden would be no different.  I gathered several cans of locally sold beers.  Miller, Busch, Heineken to name a few.  There were six in all.   I had no idea how far to space the cans as I could not find any information in the gardening books I referenced.

I would use six inches as a guide.  I could always thin out the crop if crowding was evident.

I set out planting the cans ensuring I pulled the pop tab off each one.  It was obvious to me if I wanted anything to produce the can would have to be open!

Planting completed, I set about the task of making the “Beer Garden” sign.  I used a piece of pine measuring 1in x 6in x 6ft.  With wood burning tool in hand it wasn’t long before the masterpiece was completed, a sign not to be ignored.  I placed it prominently at the edge of the garden.  No one driving by could miss it.

Approximately one month or so had passed.  A couple of guys pulled up in a truck.

One got out smiling as he came over to me and asked “Where are you going to put the tables and chairs?”

“Huh?” I said.

As they drove away I heard them howling with laughter.  Word of my beer garden must have travelled around as I noticed a lot more traffic in the area.  I also noticed more frequent patrols by our only town cop.

Then it hit me.  Uh oh as I thought to myself “was I supposed to get a license to grow a beer garden?”

My palms began to sweat, my heart race “take a deep breath, Mary, think, think, think”.

No I would not require a license, yet.   I was still waiting for beer shoots to come up and besides surely the cop would have said something.

Two months went by and I was feeling a bit dejected as I sat out there in the garden.

What went wrong?   No little beer shoots yet.

I heard a car door shut.  I looked up to see a kind faced gentleman moving toward me.

I said “Hello”.   We spoke briefly about my beer garden.

Gently, he took me by my shoulders and said, “Honey, a beer garden is a place where people go to drink beer. One can usually find them positioned behind a bar.”

As the tears welled in my eyes I asked, “You mean no one has ever grown a beer garden?”

Sympathetically, he said “Correct.”

Wow, how could I have been so ignorant?  I felt foolish to say the least. The man gave me a hug then returned to his car.

For a moment I stood there still feeling the sting of truth.  I nonchalantly walked over to the sign I had been so proud of, pulled it out of the ground, and threw it on the wood pile.  It didn’t take long before the ‘no defeat’ attitude of any worthy gardener  took over.

I decided next Spring I was going to try an “Olive Garden” as I had seen many of those signs around Chicago as well.

16 thoughts on “Confessions Of A Naive Gardener: Have You Ever Heard Of A Beer Garden?

    1. yikes! and I love the OO…seems everything else is shooting up as well……next time I do my ‘big’ shopping I will have to get a few extra bottles

      1. The Chinese built a 16,000 mile railroad (largest railway in the world) all the way to Spain (just completed it recently) to bring back olive oil. In return, they take badly wanted cheap Walmart goods to Spain.

        All they were after was the Olive Oil, the stuff is liquid gold to the Chinese

  1. Why bother going out to eat. Do you actually trust these nose picking, ass-scratching, Beavis and Butthead’s to serve you food that’s safe for consumption? Get a brain and then realize someone’s always standing in line ahead of you for your 40 cal. lobotomy. As George would say, “Compulsive, useless eaters.” Piles of repulsive flesh, perfect for “the meat grinder”, ya gotta have a little tallow in that burger. Then George would say, Let’s have some sautéed “Raccoon’s A$$holes on a stick!” Ooooooooh, yummy! I think it could be the “Special of the Week!” Or Stuffed Olives with “meat” in there. No liver available, transplant son’s of bitches got the corner on the market.

  2. “Honey, a beer garden is a place where people go to drink beer. One can usually find them positioned behind a bar.”

    He was lying, Mary; probably because he’s in the beer business, and didn’t want you cutting into his profits.

    Try it again, but this time try using the plastic six-pack holders as mulch. I started with beer cans too, and now I have little kegs popping up.

    (sincerely, Mary, that was funny. Good article for people who probably don’t get to laugh often enough)

    1. That’s it ! I forgot about the mulch. lol @ little kegs popping up. Thanks for the tip JR , glad you enjoyed the bit of humor

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