Monday, July 30, 2007

The Anticipation....

Oh, the anticipation of garden produce!

A cluster of cherry tomatoes are turning red, and our salad bowls are calling out for them! The yellow pear tomatoes tease me with their increasingly plump bottoms, but there's nary a blotch of yellow just yet. Two tomatoes have finally begun to grow on the better bush. Not much bigger than cherry tomatoes at this point, but their unusually wide middles and slight pumpkin shape hint at their fat destiny. I only wish that plant were doing as well as the others. I want baskets full of love-apples! I want to have some to eat like fruit, some to slice up for salads and sandwiches, some to pluck green and fry....

The cucumbers are more of a mystery. Four growing, one of which is about 4 inches long. I had to do research on the variety because it struck me that I had no clue when to pick them. Are they small pickling cucumbers? Obscenely huge slicing cucumbers? As it turns out, they are fairly standard and grow to about 8 inches.

It's just so hard to tell with things like cucumbers. Tomatoes are loud, garish, and proud. Their bold color tells you exactly when they are ready to be picked. Cucumbers, on the other hand, are shy and introverted. They extend no invitations from behind their broad, parasol-like foliage, no clear indication of how much larger it might grow. The gardener must play the guessing game.... Do I pick now and beat furry little poachers to prize, or will another day or two of patience win me the reward of another couple of inches?

If only cucumbers were as straight forward and open as tomatoes. But then, they wouldn't be cucumbers anymore.... No. I'd miss their quiet mystery and charm.

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