Monday, July 31, 2006

80. What is Required in the Tenth Commandment? . . . (Garden Update)

A. The tenth commandment requireth full contentment with our own condition, with a right and charitable frame of spirit toward our neighbour, and all that is his.
Why Can’t My Corn be More Like My Neighbour’s Corn?
(The simple answer, of course, is: my soil isn’t like their soil, and my knowledge isn’t like their knowledge)

My Neighbour’s Corn Revisited
These particular neighbours have actually been a real blessing in our lives, even though I am constantly tempted to covet their corn. They are both retired and enjoy spending time together reading gardening manuals and working in their garden. Their garden is right on the road that Yuko always takes on her walks, and they are always chatting with her and giving her bundles of vegetables and inviting her into their garden to eat their strawberries. In fact, these neighbours have probably provided us with well over half of all the vegetables we have eaten this summer. I have also been getting some tips from them on what and how to plant in August.

My Corn Revisited (The Greyish Brown Parts of the Garden are Mine. The Green Bits to the Left are the Junior High School’s Potato Beds)
(The saddest part is that, with my being away so much during the birth of Grace, it has actually been my junior high school’s cleaning lady who has been doing all of the actual work in my garden, such as weeding—on her own initiative.)

My Potatoes, with the Junior High School’s Chemical Fertilizer Fed Potatoes as a Backdrop

Since my potato plants were completely withered up I decided to harvest them even though it wasn’t quite August yet. I optimistically took a big plastic bin with me but, not surprisingly, I could have saved myself the trouble and just taken the lid. On the other hand, it was a particularly small potato bed, and I only planted them as an afterthought when about ten leftover potatoes in our storage room started sprouting. All things considered, perhaps this wasn’t such a bad turnout of potatoes after all.

A couple of weeks ago sister #3 (she with the green thumb) informed me during a visit to our place that I needed to be more “ruthless” with my tomatoes. I thought I was a sufficiently ruthless person given my behavioural track record with board games, but apparently not. These are my now ruthlessly pruned tomato plants that we are growing in apple boxes outside our dining room window. It looks as if they will be bearing ripe mini-tomatoes by the time we get back from English Camp.

These are my eggplants. At least, there used to be two very pathetic eggplants in there until a couple of squash plants magically appeared and dispossessed them. Oh well, I don’t even like eggplants, anyway.