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Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

Growing Tomatoes

I always dream of eating fruit and vegetable that are freshly picked. I wish I had a vegie patch.

But in reality, I am busy enough running around working and doing my daily chores, the last thing I want on my plate is tending a vegie patch!

One day my neighbor begged me to “adopt” her chili plant. I reluctantly agreed, thinking secretly that at least  I am symbolically growing something. The plant was handed to me sitting in a cracked bucket, which my neighbor reminded me of returning. I frantically went through the local nurseries and managed to buy a large clay pot before the chili plant died of dehydration with its poor roots exposed in the cracked bucket. With fresh new potting soil in the clay pot, the chili plant finally settled in. I took some time to figure out where to place the pot so I could attend to it regularly without too much of an effort (a vitally important decision, otherwise the plant would definitely be left to die without a question) . The final spot I decided was on the deck outside the kitchen, just next to the back door leading to the deck. This way I could walk to the back door, open it and pour water in without even stepping out to the deck.

Things went smoothly from then on. While cooking dinner, I would soak and wash my vegetables in tap water, then rinse them in filtered water. The used filtered water would get tipped into the clay pot for the chili plant. Everyone is happy.

And then one day I saw something.  Something sprouting next to the chili. It was a young tomato plant! A tomato seed must have got tipped in the soil together with the water. My first reaction was to “weed” it out. After all I had only JUST gotten used to the idea of growing a chili plant. And the pot is not a huge one anyway. As I was tossing between “weeding” it or “keeping” it, a few days have passed and the tomato plant was quietly getting bigger, as if to show the world its determination to stay. Looking at the strong and luscious green tomato leaves, I decided to take the risk to keep it!

One pot, two plants. To my surprise, they accommodated each other very well. The softer tomato branches tended to lean on the stoic chili plant for support and the chili plant seemed to take it well. And very soon, they both started to flower! Not long after, small chili and tiny tomatoes came into sight. Just try to imagine the excitement of someone who has never grown anything successfully… 

Fussing over the fruit every morning then became my new routine. Watching the tomato fruit grow bigger each day, believe me, was incredibly therapeutic. It brings out instantly the joy and child-like amazement which are so authentically human’s when we are connected to mother earth, which, unfortunately have long-lost among the modern day hustle bustle.

One day I noticed the biggest tomato fruit was turning red. The biophotons(see previous post “May The Life Force Be With You”) it absorbed from the sun finally reached a threshold which had kicked the ripening  process into place!  My mouth started to drool.  I envisaged the first bite of the crunchy, juicy tomato flesh, I visualised the busting of biophotons  into my mouth and the lighting up of my organs…. I must choose a special day to harvest my first fruit and take time to enjoy it, I decided. Saturday morning would be the perfect time, I decided.

Came Saturday morning. Well groomed and dressed, I solemnly walked to the tomato plant. I froze. In fact nearly fainted. A crime had been committed the night before. The only thing that was left of my first fruit was a piece of tomato skin hanging to the tomato plant. The thief had the evil skill of shelling the tomato flesh from the skin and leaving  scattered tomato skin  in the crime scene under the tomato plant. Ahhhhhhh! My first fruit! My sweat! My biophotons! I could think of a thousand ways to kill the devil(what ever that was)!

A war had been declared. This is now a national security issue!  I drew up a plan: a special trip to Bunnings hardware store. I came back armed with a piece of  “antibird netting” and netting hooks. The net went over the plant and was secured by the hooks buried in the soil. Finished, I looked at my piece of art work and smiled at the prospect of the devil returning tonight feeling completely mad and disappointed!

Two days later, I finally harvested my second tree ripened tomato and officially put it in my mouth. It is a common practice nowadays that fruits and vegetables get picked before they are ready or ripened so that they could last longer for storage and transportation. And then the ripening process is chemically induced when they are ready for sale. The human body has long been deprived of the intense solar energy transfer from eating tree ripened fruits and vegetables, except for that rare moment of eating a ripe tomato from one’s own tomato tree.

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