Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bandits

I have a thief in my garden. I came home the other day and ran outside to pick the biggest, reddest tomato growing so far in my garden. It was bigger than my fist and was hanging so nicely just that morning. I thought, "this tomato will be perfect to pick when I get home from work." So, I ran outside and it was gone...it disappeared. At first, I thought it just fell off the vine because it was so gigantic (it really was that big). But I looked down, around, on the side of the plant and nothing! I looked on my lawn, in the pond, in the basket near the door...maybe it walked out of the garden all on it's own. Nope. Gone. Disappeared. MIA.

Then, I turn on my dog. My dog who has been loyal to me for the past 12 years...I immediately blame her. I look her in the eyes hoping to catch a glimpse of the guilt that Nerina has when she's done something wrong and has been caught. Nope, no guilty look. I open her mouth, check her teeth, smell her breath. Again, nothing. No sign of the deep red tomato skin in her teeth or in her gums.

Then, I go back to the garden thinking I missed something obvious (footprints, paw prints, snake, mouse, something) when I notice that the pink/red little pear tomatoes were also missing! Yup, I have a tomato bandit!!! Not only that, but one of my little zebras was torn off the vine and half-eaten by, what looks like, a human. By the teeth marks on the poor little zebra, I could tell it was a little person (small man, woman, or child...everyone is guilty).

I suppose I shouldn't care...I was just thinking I had too much to eat all by myself. But, I wish they could have left me the big one. The first tomato on that vine. They could have had the rest. Isn't there thief etiquette? Shouldn't they have known?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bountiful Harvest

My first harvest...delicious!

I am raking in the veggies this week! My first full week of a bountiful harvest! Just 2 months ago I was pulling endless weeds from my very neglected garden. After 2 years, I decided to take up the much-loved hobby of backyard gardening. I stopped gardening after I began seeing my last boyfriend. It seemed there was no room for 2 things in my life...so the garden had to go. Hmmm...I should have reconsidered my decision, since the garden space is still around and the boyfriend isn't. Instead, the garden became a nice space for all the neighborhood cats to hang out, for my dog to sniff around, and for the weeds to flourish.

I got my garden shovel out, along with my gloves, manure, and compost and set out to re-create a space which I used to love to hang out in. After spending many hours pulling weeds taller than me, creating a watering system that conserves water (remember, I live in a darn desert), I planted little itty-bitty transplants of 5 heirloom tomatoes (I only remember 2 plants of Zebra Tomatoes, can't remember what else I got), 6 Japanese eggplants (yummy!), 6 Italian basil (yummy, again), 3 red sweet peppers, 2 cantaloupes, 3 cilantros, and 1 sage plant.

I'm leaving for the summer in a week and now I'm not so sure I want to leave. I would love to sit in my backyard, gloves and hat on, under the shade cloth and disappear in the aroma of basil, in the trees of my tomatoes, the vines of my cantaloupe, and the purple passion of my eggplants. Alas, my garden will be tended to by a good friend...and she will enjoy a bountiful harvest...lucky her!

My garden...after pulling for about an hour...still with endless weeds...

Pile o' weeds

My garden now, with tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, canteloup and basil...yummy!

My first tiny tomato...probably wasn't quite ready, but I'm not a patient person :)


Japanese Eggplant


Pear-shaped tomatoes (?) and Zebras (not sure if they're the red or the green ones. As you can see, I didn't wait around to see if they were supposed to be red.


Italian basil...need I say more? Yummy!