I just ate a sandwich with a tomato from my very own vegetable garden, and it was so awesome I feel drunk. I don’t particularly like tomato by itself, but when it’s reasonably sweet and slathered with mayonnaise and sprinkled with salt, OH MY GOD, it’s better than an Oreo. Pair it with a nice sauvignon blanc and you’ve got yourself a summer meal.
And when the tomato is from your very own garden? Holy cow, I feel like Mother Earth herself. So far this season we’ve harvested cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes, basil and a cucumber from the garden. We’ve also got a nice patch of lemon mint, which I suspect will rock the hell out of some mojitos very soon.
I’m purposely fostering an image here. Can’t you see me standing in my little crop of sustenance, wearing paisley-patched overalls and a kerchief, thoughtfully chewing on a sprig of cilantro? Imagine that I rise at 5:30 each morning to work in the garden before it gets too hot, carefully pulling weeds and splicing plants, and hand-picking the caterpillars off the leaves to keep the produce organic. Now hang on to that illusion, because it contains not a single grain of truth.
We plotted out a garden in a sunny spot just in front of the driveway. The carbon monoxide from the cars acts like a cheap pesticide, I suspect. I tilled the soil (really!), planted tomatoes and peppers and herbs and cucumbers, and instructed Husband to make sure the sprinkler system watered the area twice a week. We shoved some sunflower seeds in the ground, too, because sunflowers are hard to screw up.
Then I averted my eyes for several weeks until stuff started to actually grow.
What has especially flourished are the weeds. Weeds are amazing. One day there’s a sliver of bastard green sidling up to my pedigreed tomato, and the next day the neighborhood has gone completely to hell, and a thousand different kinds of miscreant flora are flipping their green fingers at me.
So it’s somewhat shocking to me that what’s essentially an overgrown lot has become a contributing member of the organic produce society. From the chaos, fruits have emerged!
This gives me hope. Perhaps amid the frenetic tornado that is my life right now, from the great piles of laundry and the high octaves of yelling, from the Black-Eyed Peas lyrics and the worldly lessons of SpongeBob Squarepants, my three beautiful children will grow up right.