We have spent the week eating tomatoes from our garden--welcome to the topsy-turvy South Florida growing season. That sentence makes it sound like we have a lush space with a brimming crop of tomatoes.
Not so. We pick one here and one there from a tangle of vines that are quickly dying. One pot with a spindly vine gave us one tomato, but that was one more than we were expecting. We have about 5 pots in the back that some sort of pest ate to stalks, and I procrastinated in pulling them up--lo and behold, they came back and gave us a few tomatoes.
But the true surprise is the plant in the front flower box that's attached to the house. I had some portable flower boxes that I wanted to empty out to use for herbs. I transplanted the flowers to the permanent front box, and I also transplanted the tomato seedling that was sprouting. I didn't expect it to do as well as it has.
It would probably do better if I paid more attention to it. Sigh. I try not to see its browning leaves as recrimination. It's part of the life cycle.
I think of the dreams I had in my younger years, dreams of a homestead, dreams of being self-sufficient and growing my own food. We likely would have starved.
Of course, if homesteading was my only job, I could pay more attention to it.
My spouse does a better job with consistent watering in the back. And those plants aren't in better shape. So maybe it's not me.
We have a harsh climate here, although you might think otherwise, with our lack of freezing temperatures. But much of the year, the sun shines from a harsh angle, frying delicate plants. And many vegetables need cooler nights to grow their offspring.
I've gotten a poem out of this year's harvest time. I read Luisa A. Igloria's poem on the Via Negativa site, and thought about my own experience with seeds. And then I wrote one of my own.
Go here to read it.
This Year's Summer Reading List: Take a Look!
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