Weed, California, June 23, 2012 — Outside I have a garden of sorts. Yes, the bloggard has become a gardener, of sorts.
I have never done this before. When I was a child, in self-defense I carefully avoided learning how to iron, to sew a button, or to do anything in a garden. I was afraid that I would become saddled with another “chore.” (I didn’t know how easy was my life then.)
I do not actually know anything about gardening, but my fiancé Susan knows these things, and she has assisted me. Actually it was an accident and I walked into it backwards. You see, last year, the roommate Carolyn — one of the folks who has shared my house, which is larger than I need just for myself — and some other roommates declared that they yearned for a garden. They pined for a garden. Their lives would be a joy forever, if only they had a garden.
I designed a couple of elevated beds, about 5 feet by 12 feet, and built the boxes, wire mesh on the bottom against the gophers, and got Glenn to bring me a truckload of manure and soil from the feedlot on his farm. It seemed a lot of work building these boxes, but then Carolyn planted and watered and grew the vegetables.
I thought she was nuts planting lettuces, because they’re so cheap in the store. Of course, the first time I tasted one, I changed my mind.
But somewhere between last summer and this summer, Carolyn moved on to greener pastures, and the new roomies wanted no truck with the garden. So …
I have inherited the garden.
Susan said she’d help.
So this year I added two half barrels for tomato plants and jalapeños, and three large pots for herbs: chives, parsley, cilantro, and oregano. In the two raised boxes, as we pulled out the weeds, we discovered the spinach plants from last year. They’d hidden beneath the snow, and kept warm among the spring weeds, clever things.
Now they’ve grown wildly, and I’ve added radishes, squash, some eggplant, spinach and kale, and some peas who seem unmotivated to climb the snazzy string latticework I wove for them.
However, that’s not the news.
The news is that the tiny tomato seedlings have grown like topsy in their half-barrels, and today I discovered a tiny green tomato on one of the plants. I suppose by summer’s end, this will be old news, but it seems quite mysterious to me.
Somehow a round vegetable seems more important that the leafy vegetables. Go figure.
I’m keeping a watch.
Like a greedy vampire, I spy from the eaves, awaiting the time that tomato shall become red and ripe.
Then I shall pounce.
That’s my plan.