My morning routine varies little. After my cup of coffee, I make my way down to the basement to turn off and empty the dehumidifier. As I pass the vegetable garden, I will myself to stay on the concrete path Taking a deep breath, I descend each step, repeating a silent mantra, Leave them alone, leave them alone. My will power holds up on the way down,vegetable but evaporates on the way back up.
I bend over and peek under the giant atomic monster spectacle zucchini plant in search of any new green zukes,
then do the same at its slightly smaller yellow squash cousin.
If my garden was the state fair, I’d have to rate these two a gold medal, since no sooner do I slice and grill one harvest, but find several more lining up for the next time I fire up the grill.
Next I sidle over to the eggplant where there’s no need to search. Although not as prolific as the squash varieties, it has yielded one meal and it looks like another one is not too far in the future.
And although they’ve had their problems between the groundhogs’ occasional raids and my absent-minded trampling on them, the pepper plants are giving it their all. I gently part the leaves and count the pretty white flowers and recall how crisp and crunchy the one tiny pepper I couldn’t resist picking back in July was, even though I should have left it on the plant a little longer. One is waiting for me, if I can have the patience to wait for it to get a bit bigger, or maybe a lot bigger. Oh, yes, I’d give it a bronze medal.
But now the fun ends. I know I should just turnaround and go back into the house, but that masochistic part of me propels me on to the tomatoes with whom I have a love/hate relationship. I’m in awe of how huge the the plants are. But I guess they have to be if they are to hold up all those huge beefsteak tomatoes hanging from them. Green tomatoes. After checking each one for a hint of yellow or orange, I sigh and turn my back on them.
Slacker medal for them
You see, it’s more than my disappointment. It’s my friends I worry a bout. No, not my veggie plant friends, but my real live flesh and blood friends, the ones who were so hopeful as they accepted my overflow of small plants last May, the 23 seed tray mates of the 5 runts I kept for myself. Only two have reported red tomatoes, the rest are in the same boat as I am, seeking that slight change of green to yellow green, then on to orange……and so on.
Then came tonight – since we haven’t had rain in over a week, I hauled the hose over for a soaking than the watering can I usually use to gently administer to each plant.
I wasn’t really looking at it, but there it was. Well, isn’t it always the way?!?