Saturday, April 10, 2010

The hidden realm of the cherry tomato

Last weekend I decided it was about time I did something about those Butternut Pumpkin. As much as I had initially enjoyed their casual meander down amongst the blades of grass, it really was getting quite ridiculous. Trust me, I'm so well trained now I only momentarily entertained the notion of accepting it as a new ground-cover. And besides, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have taken nearly as kindly to the lawn-mower as your traditional varieties of lawn. There was a moment of sadness as I started to wrench the last actively producing part of the plot from soil. It quickly passed when I looked over at yonder table and fathomed just how much I could come to hate pumpkin this year.

Now, you might find yourself asking why, a week later, I decided to write about it - and, let me assure you its only partially because I found myself with nothing better to do on a Saturday night. More to the point, under the giant pumpkin leaves, through swaying towers of Kikuyu, through the prickly vines of god-knows-what - I discovered a hidden Eden.

I knew there was a small bush of cherry tomato in there somewhere, mainly because I planted it there. In amongst three pumpkin plants and this season's honeydew not-to-be was the only remaining garden space I had left to plonk two cherry tomato plants, one from a dear old friend, and one from my dear old folks. Now I'm not at all suggesting by the tone of this discussion that I had forgotten about said cherry tomatoes. Quite the opposite - I'd been picking the odd tomato from the know location of the plants for some time.  But unbeknown-est to me, these busy little plants had set about building a magical, miniature, hidden empire beneath the expansive canopy of mildewy pumpkin leaf.

Now don't you let your mind wander to fairies and all that shit just because of my colourful use of adjectives. I'll have you know I squash fairies for Sunday afternoon funs-ies. Stick with the topic! What is really amazing is that the cherry tomatoes caught this gardener completely unawares - growing almost as far under the pumpkins as there was pumpkin to grow under. And suddenly there's a harvest.

Having failed so miserably with tomatoes in the past (or as I prefer to euphemistically say "succeeded so convincingly at growing grubs") - these cherry tomatoes seem to be the thing. I struggled to find fruit that has suffered more than having just been left wild an unruly. There's a very good possibility that I might do this again, next year...