I am not a gardener. Plants wither and die at my very glance. I don’t even like it when I accidentally touch leaves, because they can itch or harbor bugs or any number of dreadful things. I envy those who can nurture a plant from shoot to fruit, but I am not one of them. I’m happy just to be able to use the produce and flowers that talented gardeners and farmers offer.
This is the time of the year when my thoughts turn to gardening.
It’s all about what I want to eat… not so much about the actual work of planting, weeding, tending and harvest. I pore over seed catalogs, plan, order and fantasize. It’s really mainly about the fantasizing. I am definitely not thinking about weeding when I place my orders!
Everything in my garden is dead. The tomatoes are crispy dead with a side of wilt. The pumpkin plants shriveled up and their lovely umbrella leaves melted away last week. This makes me really sad, because one of the only reasons to live in Kansas in the summer is eating our garden treasures. Our pug dog Lulu lives for tomato season, waiting for the blooms and little hard green tomatoes, which she harvests before they are ripe. We plant one grape tomato plant just for her. Olive, our other pug, will knock down corn plants and inch her body along the stalk to nibble the ears.
Our growing season in Kansas is brief and violent. One month we have nothing but lettuce and radishes poking up through the snow and the next we are leaving giant baby-sized zucchini on the neighbor’s porch under cover of night. Eating seasonally in this area is challenging, since for eight months we have nothing at all and for four months we have too much of everything. Summer in Kansas is a tomato-basil-cucumber-pepper avalanche. It’s fantastic for salsa lovers.