Today I pulled a weed, and a long carrot came out instead of the tangled roots I was expecting. The carrot had grown underneath the arm of a tomato plant and I only saw it because I was trimming off the lower stems as my friend had suggested. She told me it would make the garden neater and make it easier to find the tomatoes when they ripened. At least I think that’s what she said. I just heard something about trimming the tomato plants, and if there is one thing I have fallen wildly in love with at Spirit Hill Farm, it is the clippers.
The carrot was yellow instead of orange. It was as long as my hand and thicker than my thumb. The package of seeds this carrot sprang from says Dare to be different! A colorful surprise in the garden and on the table, this fun mix is high in nutrition and flavor. Kids love the colors!
Dare to be different! A colorful surprise! It worked! I was surprised!
When I first got to Spirit Hill Farm, I spent a solid week, 4-8 hours a day, up on a ladder all in the olive trees’ business, trimming all thirty-something (Or more! I refuse to count again.) trees. As a writer, it was the best kind of editing because 1. I got to be outside 2. I didn’t have to sit in front of my computer 3. the trees looked so light and free when I was done—I was editing the tree of its clutter.
I didn’t know at the time, obviously, that basically I was trimming away all the low-hanging fruit that would comprise next year’s bounty that would be gathered and brought to the guy with the press to make Spirit Hill’s delicious olive oil.
Luckily, I’m still bottling the olive oil that has been allowed to settle from last year, so maybe no one will notice that 2020 might end up with a total of two 4-ounce bottles of that liquid gold.
All of this is to tell you that out in the garden, I can tell which are the tomato plants, the zucchini, the corn, the basil, the parsley, the little gem lettuce, but I have no idea what is growing in the area next to the flowers. I think one of the little plants might be an eggplant and the one next to it might be a cayenne pepper. I have no idea what’s growing where the kale used to be before I ate it all and planted new things. Somewhere I planted a bunch of garlic cloves. I think the potatoes I cut up and shoved into the dirt are growing like crazy next to a zucchini plant. I read that I’m supposed to mound up dirt around the green plant as the potatoes grow, but that feels like burying the living to me, and so I’m letting things be and hoping for the best.
I have an app on my phone called Picture This, and I can take a picture of a plant and the app does a fairly good job of identifying it. It kept telling me a plant I thought was some kind of bean was an American hog-peanut. I don’t know what that is, but it sounded insulting to both me and the garden. Another plant I suspected was artichoke the app said was Mexican tea–again, what? But to be fair, the app identified cabbage, oregano, sage, winter squash, dill, pumpkin, miner’s lettuce, and chives. And to be even more fair, I didn’t make the effort to look up (and still am not making the effort!) just what American hog-peanut and Mexican tea even are. They are probably a bean and artichoke. I guess I’m afraid to look. I like feeling superior instead of feeling like an idiot.
That app owns me.