Saturday, May 18, 2013

Return to the Victory Garden

I expect to harvest at least a double handful of tomatoes from my Victory Garden this summer.
Feels good to be back in the garden letting the dirt flow through my fingers and get caught under my fingernails. I let the patch go fallow last year as I was healing from a bout with depression. You'd think that gardening would be good for melancholia and maybe it is for some people. I just looked at my modest plot and saw a weed-choked north 40 spread out in front of me. Seemed like too much work instead of fun, which is how I usually look at it.

I dug out the weeds this week. This is the least fun part of the exercise but it didn't seem that way. I hauled the weeds to my garden recycling bin. I do all of this while hooked up to my LifeVest, which is an external defibrillator. I get my implanted one in June. Can't say I'll miss the vest, although I've worn it since January. I gardened all week without it beeping. Sometimes I can't walk out to my car without alarms sounding. "Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! Your ticker's about to blow!" I loved that robot...

About half of my strawberries made it through the winter, and my perennial flowers are coming up. This morning, I drove down to the annual Master Gardeners Plant Sale at Depot Plaza downtown. I was there a bit early. They thought that I was a volunteer but I bugged out before they put me to work. I meandered over to a nearby vendor's tent that belonged to Dawn Thiesen and her Thrive Nursery. She gardens up neat Horse Creek with the help of a greenhouse. I lingered mainly because she had some healthy looking plants and they had cool names. This is a failing of mine, as I tend to buy things more by name and description than by looks or price. These plants were all made in Wyoming, USA, which is always another selling point for me. Local! Local! Local!

As for tomatoes, I bought a Tolstoi, a German Extreme, Ailsa Craig, Silver Tree and Early Cherry. Dawn has a mini-catalog that has a paragraph written about each variety. I didn't read about the Tolstoi but figured it is a very literary plant that will grow to War and Peace size by the end of the summer. I expect fruits the size of the master's head, which reportedly was quite large.

I planted the German Extreme in a large pot. Dawn said it only grows about a foot high but spreads out with maturity. I suppose it's best it's in a pot as anything German does tend to encroach on neighboring territory. The Ailsa Craig is a Scottish blend named after an island in the Clyde of Firth, no doubt a single malt tomato. I bought some broccoli plants. One if called Packman which I imagined a Pac Man -- hope it doesn't gobble up the rest of the garden. If it does, I should get a free game out of it.

As the day progresses, I feel my muscles revolting from the bending and stooping and raking and digging and watering. I hear a beer calling my name.

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