Ignorant, Blueberry-Thumbed Whore (That’s right, I said it)

“The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution.”

–Paul Cezanne

What color is black turning green? A purple hue perhaps? An eggplanty color? Violet? I’ve got a plum-thumb. Things–real, live, edible plants–sprawl across my little garden. See that beautiful squash blossom up there? I ate him for lunch. He had the most delicious sweet taste, soft tissue-paper flesh and a nub of a treat at its base. It’s how I knew it was a him. (Yes, I can sex my squash. I guess that’s what one does when your man is away four nights a week.)

As you may recall, you diligent readers, you, in my little  hovel of a home, way back in the spring, I culled carrot, lettuce, onion and chard from seed. Then, in the four weeks since my seedling babies and I have lived at our  new home, veggies have taken root, blossomed, produced stuff I can eat! Spinach that cost me $2.50 a bunch at the store sprouted like snakes on Medusa’s head. N and I almost could not keep up with it.

And just when I pulled the spinach (see lessons learned below) I got the itch. I HAD to have blueberry bushes. Purchased and planted yesterday.

Today, like a woman looking for her crack fix, I scoured through the junk drawer looking for my green beans. Sown. I have plans for succession sowing. (Listen to me!)

I’m using a packet of “Flashy Trout’s Back” heirloom lettuce (who is waiting for it to cool down) as a book mark in Eliot Coleman’s Four-Season Harvest which I plucked from Seattle’s Goodwill. I’ve stayed up until 2 a.m. two nights in a row reading.  I have plans for raised beds, year-round gardens, squash in fall and beets in the winter. (Note: author is fully aware that most of her dreams never leave the depths of her closet of a brain.)

While reaching for the box of strawberries in the fridge, I think: What? That’s all you got? You in your little plastic container? I can grow this shit. I’m getting cocky. This alter-ego gardener  scares me a little. She needs a name, this gardening whore.

I’ve already worn holes in my gardening gloves (I’d like to think I’ve planted and tilled that much in the dime-size garden, but I think they were cheap) and amended both the soil and my gardening ignorance. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

Garden Lessons from a Neophyte

(remember, I already claimed ignorance)

  • Blueberry bushes have thorns! They do not make good front-seat passenger companions, especially when you have to keep one hand on a large clump of them so they don’t commander the steering wheel.
  • Spinach bolts quickly in the heat. What a great verb–bolt. It’s like my spinach ran off with the milkman, bolted right out of edibility. Damn her.
  • Squash blossoms are either male or female. I hear the male leaves the seat up.
  • nasturtiums taste like candy. Hard to tell if they are more fun to harvest, toss on top of a salad or eat.

I leave you with my gardening hat. I used to accompany my mother to all kinds of nurseries, and I never understood the allure. The last time we went to one, she bought me this hat. Who knew its future would be in this vibrant, delicious back yard? Who knew I’d reminisce about Sperling’s Nursery with my mother each time I bend to the earth?

And, do tell. What are you growing? How’s it coming?

Advertisements

Penny for Your Thoughts!?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s