Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The First Tomato and Other Garden Stories

Clockwise, from top-left: 1) My mini-tomatoes, 2) the tomato plants outside our dining room windows whence my mini-tomatoes come, 3) eating the first fruits . . . 4) . . . which happened to be four pods from my garden peas carelessly planted next to my tomato plants as an after thought.

Actually, I never did eat my first tomato. I put it on the mantle piece pending the perfect moment to take a picture of me eating it. Several days later, after all our guests went home, it was still sitting on the mantelpiece with a squishy bottom, spilling its substance all over the woodwork.

What’s more, my middle-sized tomatoes have been mysteriously disappearing. I count eleven missing not-so-mini-tomatoes just in these two clusters.

The mystery was partially solved when I discovered this lost tomato on the lawn. I blame the crows. Our neighbourhood crows are impudent. One of them even used our lawn to teach her young to hop around and fly. The other day when I went to get a hoe from the school’s tool shed my head passed within two feet of a crow sitting on a fence——it didn’t even blink. The next time that happens I will hit whichever crow happens to be doing it with a shovel and hang it’s carcass in front of my tomato plants. Or maybe I won’t. As the ambassador of all foreign peoples to this village, I have to be careful about what sort of images of foreignness I am projecting onto the collective consciousness of the local population.

Either this is a very big boot, or else these are very small corn stalks . . . the truth is out there.

From certain angles, though, my garden doesn’t look that bad anymore . . . especially now that the junior high school’s potato plants have withered away, leaving my earth mounds juxtaposed against a barren waste. The squash plants seem to being doing all right, and the marigolds are holding there own.

Could it be that we shall actually eat of the fruit of my squash vines?

Also, where my potatoes once grew, I have now planted daikon. Since I am not going to apply the required chemical fertilizers, they will probably be mini-daikon, just as my potatoes were mini-potatoes and my corn is mini-corn.