Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Intruder Tomatoes

I am no gardener, and I make no apologies for that. I don't perform surgery, drive a semi, put out fires or fly to the moon, either. We've all got our roles to play. I did plant some herbs this summer, though. I planted sage, oregano, flat-leaf parsley, curly-leaf parsley, rosemary and lavender—one each—and then I walked away. I can dig the hole and stick in the herb, but I've never been good about tending the thing as it grows. You should see the oregano I planted a few years ago. It has become so unruly and completely choked out the chives, and the sprawling thyme right next to it is big enough to be home to a family of opossums.

A few weeks ago, I went out in the yard to snip some parsley for dinner and was stunned by the size of the things I had planted. And then I found an intruder—this thing:

At first I thought I had your typical weed. We've got plenty of weeds all over the place. But then I lifted up one of the long vines extending from the root and discovered I was growing cherry tomatoes, loads of them. Did you know they grow wild? It turns out three of my neighbors have gardens, real ones with vegetables, and seeds from their planting must have blown in the wind and landed next to my overgrown parsley.

So, now I know what it's like to step out your back door and pluck something edible and fresh from a vine, something larger than a sprinkling of green leaves, to take it back into the kitchen and serve it with dinner. It's self-sufficient. It's free. And best of all, it took absolutely no effort on my part to make it happen. So much easier than flying to the moon.

I'm still no gardener and have no intention of becoming one, but I like the idea of finding food in the yard.


Lynn said...

lol what a great find! As you say, no work put in either. Cherry tomatoes are so delicious. I'd quite like to grow these myself.

Laughed, by the way, at your intro, saying you drove a semi. I don't know what you meant, but in England you'd be driving a semi detached house!

Lynn said...

Just caught up with the last article on age. lol. Sorry haven't been around much, not been a great time really but I do love your writing. I've commented. :)

dive said...

One of the weirder places to find tomatoes growing is all along the middle of the rail tracks on my commute.
People … er … well let's just say the seeds pass through people unscathed and get flushed out onto the tracks. Wherever lots of tracks come together you can see them growing rampantly.
Yay, tomatoes! The great survivors.

Scout said...

Lynn, here a semi is a big commercial truck. A semi detached house? detached from what?

Dive, that's just nasty. Is that why you all eat tomatoes with breakfast? Because of surplus? I'll never eat a tomato in England again.

Lynn said...

Good God alive, Scout, I don't think I'll eat one here either! What exactly are you saying there, Dive? I can't believe what I think you're saying. Please say you're not.

Oh so it's a truck, thanks! Detached from what? he he. Ok a detached house is one which stands alone from other houses - space around it. Detached from anything, I suppose. Semi detached has another house joined to it at one side (so it's half detached; see?) Terraced has houses joined on either side. :)