Friday, June 6, 2008

Gardener's thumb down


It seemed way to easy to be true - our six tomato plants took to the ground in our backyard and diligently began bearing fruit...we couldn't believe our good fortune...given our less than lackluster veggie growing performance last year...I should have been more cautious before falling in love (and fantasizing about all the delicious ways to eat tomatoes) with my prissy water-loving little green friends out back...

Sure enough the carnage is upon us. Some mysterious disease is claiming one after the other, picking a new one in a capriciously cruel fashion almost every other day. First the third from the left went limp overnight last weekend and didn't ever recover, then the second from the right started looking sad, before going completely flacid yesterday. No sign of parasite, no mildew, no eating holes, no discoloration...just hanging branches and rolled up leaves...and yes, I did water them every day.

After a little reading on the Internet, I decided to harvest the green fruit (recipe for fried green tomatoes anyone?) then pull both of the infected plants up. I didn't even dare to throw them on the compost heap...instead they went into the trash...how sad.

Now a third one looks like it will give up its will to live sometime today...I'm profoundly saddened by it all. I know gardening is a life lesson and that me and my greedy stomach don't call the shots...but it does feel like the perpetual tease. Every time I toil in the ground...seeds turn into eager little seedlings, seedlings turn into mature plants bearing tempting fruit...then something comes along and either eats it or fouls it up some other way. Can you tell I'm a wee bit bitter?

Here I am in the midst of a flora and fauna so teeming with energy. Everything buzzes and you can practically hear things grow in the steamy heat of Western North Carolina...people trade in salad greens and strawberries, only I can't grow a thing fit to eat...poor me.

It's the seasonal curse for me. I'm going to mop around my flowers now, go to the farmer's market, instead and hold out some hope that my two Cherry Tomato plants are resistant to whatever is eating up my big tomatoes - oh, and I just found out that my compost heap is home to about a thousand potato shoots, a zucchini and what we tentatively have identified as a water melon - all without me even trying...maybe that's the lesson?

RIP my darling little tomato plants. I'm mourning you every time I look at the window sill.

2 comments:

Qiuqiu's parents said...

That's how I felt when our koi died in that hailstorm last summer. I was depressed for weeks (oh not to mention it trampled and tattered our entire vegetable garden, which was in full fruition at the time!!) It happens. Way of the world. I need to develop a thicker skin, I know. Our garden season is only just beginning...I'm salivating for the lush times, and bracing for the disappointments!

a said...

I do have a lovely fried green tomato recipe! I'll email it to you.
sorry about your `mator plants!
Alst