I expected to have glorious mounds of tomatoes. I had recently downsized and was intent upon gardening, but in large containers. I trotted off to the nursery, spending hours negotiating with myself and the selection of plants. Will you grow for me? I would ask, stopping and pausing, debating with each specimen. Will you resist the gnarly bugs that wish to devour your pungent leaves? Recently, discovered in making tomato sauce was San Marzano plum tomatoes from Italy, and I doggedly made my way to the display full of plants. I asked several of the nursery workers, who all said yes -this is the best – you will have more fruit than you can give away, even in containers. So hauling large pots and heavy soil I made my way to my new home and began planting. I gently rubbed on leaves to smell them as I placed them with care, as a new parent will lay their newborn in the crib. I planted herbs for neighbors with them. Mint, parsley, dill, chives. Gently I watered and told them I love you. I promised to water them well. I will block the hot afternoon sun and provide you proper shade. Daily I went to water and talk and touch them. Massive amounts of blossoms appeared. Baby tomatoes poked from the vines and said look at us! Look at us! So I continued to look and water and love and care for them. I dreamt of plucking the juicy fruit and biting into them, joyfully plopping them into my mouth, seeds and juice running down my chin. But those damn tomatoes grew stubborn and said we will not ripen for you! We will not share our juices and skin and seeds. We will turn green leaves to crispy brittle brownness and drop our babies into the soil and we don’t care how much you love us. And they did not forgive me my dreams of fresh salads, and BLT sandwiches and sharing with neighbors. No! They grew scrawny and long stringy vines. So the summer heat is fading and I thought I will cut them down. I will give them new vigor. And they became vigorous but again, refused to bear.
Yesterday I yanked those sons of bitches out of their homes and tossed them into the trash.
This morning I planted radishes in their place.