Monday, July 05, 2004

Gardening and Blogging

Very few people my age seem to give a darn about gardening. It's a pity. There is almost nothing I find more rewarding.

I'm not much of a flower gardener though. I put in a few so the neighbors (mostly retirees with immaculately landscaped, if modest, little plots) aren't scandalized. But I'm basically a kitchen gardener. I grow things I like to eat. And I like to eat a lot. So the possibilites are endless.

My personal obsession is tomatoes. In my very modest and rather shady suburban backyard, I have 48 tomato plants growing which I raised from seed. And a few others that are springing up from seed left in the soil from fruit that fell to the ground last year. Those of you who think all tomatoes are red, and taste the same will not understand. You have to brave the wilds of heirloom tomato territory to have an inkling of why a family of 5 (with 3 under the age of 5) can possibly want 50 plus tomato plants.

I also grow herbs. Lots of them. This is my year to learn to love tarragon. It survived a Minnesota winter and came up on its own again this spring - that earns it a special place in my heart.

I'm also taking a shot at fennel. I've always liked the stuff, but have tended to avoid it because my wife, the allergy-maven, used to think she was allergic to it. Turns out to be one of the few things on the planet she's not allergic to, so she's willing to give it another try.

Anyway, one of the wonders of my life at this point ... writing a blog about gardening, from my garden. Well, technically my deck, but I have tomatoes, herbs and flowers growing up here too. Just not as many as in the yard.

When I was a younger man one of the "deep questions" I used to ponder was about what place in time and geography I'd most want to live. Republican Rome? Delian-League era Athens? Victorian London? The answer for me now is Fridley, Minnesota. Right here. Right now. A blessed place in a special time.


Blogger Noneya said...

I believe that everyone should grow a tomato plant. It forces you to realize just how connected, and independent, we all are. My sweethearts have told me I'm not allowed to dig in our yard because it's too nice, though, so everything is in containers this year. Here's the lineup: basil; oregano; chives; cilantro; chamomile; lemon balm; parsley; Mokum carrots; Salad Bush cucumbers; Tumbler, Window Box Roma, Tigerella, Pineapple, Mortgage Lifter tomatoes; and Gloriosa Polyheaded and Miriam Edible sunflowers.

9:28 AM  

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