This morning I was minding my own business in the garden. Weeding the carrots. Checking on the progress of the plants. Watering. You know, the usual garden chores at the beginning of July.
When suddenly it seemed like you could hear the plants murmuring, “thank you, thank you for watering us, thank you for weeding us” in some sort of plant-language that comes without words or sentences or paragraphs or exclamation points.
Of course that led to the next idea. Why not let the plants write this blog? I am going to step out of the way and attempt to let the plants utilize these typing fingers. Let’s see if this works.
Carrots: Oh! We feel so good this morning. Even though that hose water felt so icy pounding against our green tops. Water feels so good as it swims down to our roots. Even though we’re lying flattened to the ground now from the deluge, we’re pulling in that lovely moisture and pretty soon we’ll be standing straight up and growing growing growing toward that sun. It is hard to grow underneath that spruce tree though. That’s why we never get very big. The spruce sucks up the water and shades us and it’s hard to grow as big as we could. But we like our sweet little selves. We’re orange fingerlings. Thank you for the water.
Squash: You’re dreaming of late December when you gather me from your food room in basement, bring me upstairs, split me wide open, scoop out the baby-seeds and roast me in your oven, aren’t you? It’s a long long time until then. A whole lifetime. Don’t let those taste buds get too impatient. I’m gathering sunlight and moisture, ready to send out runners in all directions. Ready to ripen from tiny green nubs to light green squash and finally harden into a ready-to-eat squash in the early September harvest.
Peas: We’re racing, racing, racing toward the top of the pea fence! We’re five feet in the sky! We’re heading up! We’re blooming! We’re excited! We have so much energy we can’t contain it! We’re happy! We can’t talk any more! The sky is calling!
Brussels sprouts: Hello. I don’t know about those peas. This is a slow world. We’re moving slowly. The roots are what is important. We’re pushing fingers of roots deep into the soil. We like the moonlight. Our roots grow up and down. The upper root sprouts nubs that grow into small round balls. I know you enjoy us. We are glad. Please do not wait to pick us until it’s 35 degrees, as we do not like your impatience and frozen fingers. We do not mind frost. But we do not like bitching. Thank you.
Peppers: Hola! Que pasa, bebe? What’s happening? You like the spice and the heat of our people, si? You like the way your tongue and lips and mouth sizzle when you bite into our amigo cayenne, eh? We add the dash of flame to heaten up you northerners. You’re way too far from the equator, bebe. Come down and see us growing in Mexico and we’ll show you a good time. Ole!
Collards: Ahhhm so glad you eat collards here in the Upper Peninsula. Why don’t your neighbors like us? Why don’t most people like us here? They simply don’t know what they’re missing! We’re delectable greens, aren’t we? Don’t you just adore us with black eyed peas? Don’t we grow admirably? The folks down in the deep south looooooove us to death. Literally.
Tomatoes: Thank goodness for your husband. That’s all we can say. He cares about us. We’ve been suffering with that die-back fungus the last few years where our lower branches simply die off early. And look at all the effort he put into finding some help for us! That organic copper spray recommended by your greenhouse friend is a good try. We’re sorry the rain washed it off too soon and you couldn’t re-apply it immediately. But he keeps following the directions and spritzing us every 7-10 days. And look how diligently he waters us. (Unlike some people we know, who shall remain nameless, who would probably allow us to wilt over in the heat thoughtlessly.) I suppose it’s because he loves us so much.
We tomatoes shall share a secret. This Pico de Gallo recipe comes via Sudha. Chop the veggies as fine or chunky as you prefer. Use as many of the peppers, onions and other ingredients as you like.
Tomatoes (start with 2-3)
Green and/or red peppers
diced onion (it may seem strong at first, but it mellows in the frig)
jalapeno or chili pepper (don’t use too much. just some to “hotten” it up)
pinch of salt
Mix in advance so the flavors have time to mingle. Serve over rice and beans, or with chips, or in any Mexican recipe.
Enjoy! (Also hope you enjoyed the Veggie Speak. Maybe they should get another Guest Blog some time?)