The first time the spaceman saw my garden, I thought he was going to strangle me.
All that water and the thousands of milligrams of nutrients, an embarrassment of riches strewn across my backyard. He demanded to see my resource plan, to inspect my sensor grid. My savagery offended him, the utter obscenity of waste driving him to apoplexy.
It took all afternoon to talk him down. He’d been tightly monitoring his personal consumables, just refilling tanks occasionally from the local atmosphere and discretely purging unrecyclables when we weren’t looking.
But, the helmet was the turning point. He unsealed it, and the raw air hit his nostrils. He fell straight on his ass as lush scents of blossom and green overwhelmed him. The moist soil beneath him induced moans as he crumbled it under his nose.
By the next spring, he’d become an astonishingly talented and celebrated plantsman. In his old helmet, he grew the richest cilantro I’d ever tasted—presented to me as a gift on the anniversary of that first encounter.