Thursday, September 18, 2003

Hooray for Spell Check! I just used it on the last post.. It really needed it.

Funny thing, though... I just received two forwards with these sage wrods..

Subject: Ptetry Drun Itnetesirng

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in
waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht
frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl
mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do
not raed ervey lteter by itslef but the wrod as a wlohe.

WOW! It wrkos! Hvae a garet wekened!

I still hate bad spellers.. especially msylef.

Harvest: The saddest, sweetest time of year

Garrison Keillor recently revised his famous quote, and told an audience that men have tried, but sex will never be better than fresh sweet corn. This is a good thing, because I managed to grow a bit of sweet corn this year. And lots and lots and lots of tomatoes. I have heard from others that this has been a bad year for tomatoes, but for our gentleman farm, we have had a bumper crop. And of course not tended to it.

It seems as inevitable as the turning the of the soybeans from green to yellow this time of year, that I will for one reason or another neglect my harvest, which I so carefully tend most of the summer. The tiny weeds that were too insignificant or pretty to pull are now spewing seed everywhere, towering over the wilted potatoes and bolting broccoli. The cucumbers are so large they rival the zucchini, and the peas have all turned white. Whatever the reason for my absence, the longer it grows, the more I fear returning to the field.

Its not the oversized cukes that scare me though, its the tomatoes. If neglected, the patch becomes a site of veggie genocide: bleeding red fruits tremble on the vine, afraid of dropping into the rotting corpses below. Vermin have taken up residence, built a small mansion under the straw, and taken the liberty of taste-testing every fruit that turns red. The smell is unbearable, to touch the plants makes one itch, but whatever you can rescue, oh the flavor!

The cherry tomatoes are sugary, whether the yellow or red varieties. The Big Boys are round and firm, with almost completely even coloring and excellent flavor. The pink, billowy heirlooms are beyond the sweetness of peaches, with a scent that could be bottled as a perfume. But one step beyond ripe, and you'll be showering to get the odor out of your hair. And beware of 'sports', plants that don't do what they're bred to. We had four plants this year that decided to grow beautiful large tomatoes with out a touch of red in them, so when they ripened, you didn't notice until they were rotten. One cherry tomato plant grew palm sized fruits that, while awkward in small mouths, proved just as tasty.

Even while I enjoy eating tomatoes and cucumbers and broccoli and all the other things we grow, I am hit with a terrible sadness watching the plants die, one by one. Some go quickly and quietly, like potatoes. They shoot out their bright purple and white flowers, become lush in the heat, and then waste to nothing in two weeks, so you can pull them out and dig up the tubers later. But the zucchini looks like its developed a terrible disease, and its big fuzzy leaves grow spotty and wilt. The cucumber vines become scarred and white, until not nutrition flows to the leaves, which dry into prickly brown smudges. Corn becomes more and more colorless, until its nothing but a dried scarecrow of its former self.

Vegetable plants don't get to go out in a grand show, like trees do. They don't lose their leaves in a beautiful way. The garden turns into a hospice, where I must tend my plants even as I know that next week I will be pulling them out. Thankfully most of my sad sentiments are forgotten by the first snowfall, and I can look forward to spring thaw and tiny, precious seedlings, and delude myself with dreams of beautiful, deathless harvests in fall.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Now We're Talking

Wesley Clark has a weblog..

So does Bob Graham

Yeah, Dean's not the only one people, expand your horizons. :)