More hope

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That, my friends, is a picture of hope. Okay, in truth it’s a picture of my Early Girl tomato plant. Oh, but the hope it instills in me…and maybe you can see the yucky dirt we have, even after it’s been amended three times in two years. The bricks are there to stop all the water from rushing down out of Tomato Valley. And yes, Kira, I applied mulch today–grass clippings! I was too lazy to save eggshells for the holes so I just sprinkled on some dolomite lime and mixed it in with my new Garden Claw Gold. Love the Garden Claw. My neighbor loves it too, and now she’s glad I won’t be asking to borrow hers every other weekend.

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Above we have a Brandywine Tomato plant. It’s some kind of heirloom, maybe Amish…but I liked the cool name. Which came first, the river in Middle Earth or the tomato variety? I am only planting these two plants, because we joined a CSA this year and I’m waiting to find out what kind of tomato output we’ll get from them. I am through with cherry tomatoes. Done, I tell you. All the work of a regular tomato plant and just silly little tomatoes that don’t seem to yield much flavor. Next year if I get my act together sooner, I might order some funky heirloom seeds and put in a few more plants. The truth is, my biggest use of tomatoes is for green tomato mincemeat. Ah, but it’s much too early to hope for that now.

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“Plant a zucchini,” they said. “It’s the one thing you can’t mess up,” I was told. Ha! So here we have another picture of hope, and evidence that gardeners are not insane…at least this one. Given that a popular definition (thanks to Thos. Jefferson) for insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result, I am here to tell you I am not insane about gardening. This zucchini is in a different, sunnier spot than last year. I think that’s what did it in last year, not enough sun. We have a huge cottonwood tree hogging up most of the water and sunlight in our back yard, so even though I have space, I don’t have ideal vegetable growing conditions. My friend and fellow CSA member Helen warns me that we’ll be getting tons of zucchini, but I’ll believe it when I see it. One can only hope!

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Here again, more proof. This watermelon is planted in the same spot as last year, but it’s a different variety…smaller with a shorter growing span (sugarbaby sweets). There were two watermelon plants last weekend, but an early hail storm destroyed one of them. Better now than in August, methinks.

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And here, my daughter’s attempt to be a gardener. It’s chamomile, which she planted from seed. Interesting how her enthusiasm waned as soon as they were planted. She put popsickle stick markers in everything but hasn’t even labeled them yet. Luckily she knows that these are chamomile and not the basil.

This year, I have accomplished (well, I’ve attempted) something I’ve wanted to do for about ten years now. Yes, I’m a slow roast. Finally I have some forget-me-nots in for the girl (and my mother) and some sweet williams in for the boy. Forget-me-nots are perennials but you can grow them in pots! Sweet williams are biennial so I probably won’t get flowers until next year. But good things come to those who wait. And hope.