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Saturday, April 25, 2015

What’s Growing? Good Stuff.

I bet you’ve been up all night, unable to sleep, wondering and wondering what is growing at the community garden. Well, I’ll tell ya.

I’ve noticed new things at the garden in the last few days because I’ve been spending more time there lately, painting the garden columns. I realized how many people are growing corn this summer. I still get giddy, seeing corn grow right in the middle of the suburbs. It’s our own patch of farmland, right in San Diego.

My artichoke plant is really growing. It is almost five feet in diameter, I’d estimate. I plunked it right in the center of my garden bed and I think it’s happy to have a lot of space. In January I planted it and then, earlier this month, I began to get a little impatient. When would it produce an artichoke? When? When? So I got a little aggressive with it, and I parted the leaves and peered inside. I felt vaguely inappropriate but I dove into that artichoke plant and I wasn’t coming out until I found an artichoke. Well, lo and behold, there was an artichoke growing at the center of all those leaves! It was about the size of a tennis ball. I was so excited! I checked on its progress each time I visited the garden and it was growing larger, and rising to the top of the plant, like a rock star on a rising dais, ready to let rip a killer guitar solo. Artichoke, you rock! Today I started snooping around again and I noticed that there are a total of seven artichokes on my plant. Some are tiny—maybe an inch across, but they’re there! I took a deep breath of clean air, stuck my pitchfork into the soil and sighed with contentment. I am a farmer! I can grow my own food! (Well one meal’s worth, but still.) I feel like a pioneer, self-sufficient and proud. Working the land. Reaping the fruits. Life is good.

The gardener in the bed north of mine, Natasha, has green thumbs, green fingers and green wrists, arms and a whole green body. (I should give her the Jolly Green Giant costume.) She knows tons about gardening. Among other things, she is growing tomatillos. Aren’t they darling, in their puffy shells?

Someone else in the garden (Wynette, I think) has striped sweet peas. Aren’t they amazing? I think they are the creations of garden fairies who have been flying into the garden with tiny detail brushes and a set of water colors, painting in the moonlight to surprise us gardeners the next day. They look like candy canes. Gorgeous.

This garden creates wondrous things. 

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