August 10, 2009

Gardening without a garden

baby tomato

This year, I got a pretty large plant pot, a bag of gardening soil, and a cherry tomato seedling from nearby home center. Later, I got a bag of fertilizer which says "for tomatoes", too.

Today, I harvested eight tomatoes as the last crop and cut down all the vines, packed them in a plastic bag and put out as garbage. The tree was tired and lost almost all the leaves. I could have saved several green fruits still on the vines by waiting a week or so more, but Typhoon No. 9 (No, our lovely Meteorological Agency doesn't name them. We just give them numbers. An international meeting give them Asian names, but we, ordinary Japanese never recognize a typhoon with name.) was coming closer - or so I figured that I didn't want to take a risk.
I explained my daughter that I was going to cut down the tomato tree while she was helping me harvesting. "No, I don't wanna say good-bye." "But, look, the leaves are almost gone. It's about time, honey."
She went inside. I was sure she was watching me using my pruning scissors, and lost her interest after a few minutes.

It's OK. What I have done today was an act of killing. It's not something she has to learn to do it herself yet.

We live in an apartment in the city. It's not completely unaffordable, but very expensive to have a "real" garden in my neighborhood. I dream of having apple trees or citrus trees that I can cook with their fruits in my own backyard. I set a table under the tree, sit and knit and sip iced tea from a tall glass.... Just a dream. Instead, I spread a rug on the veranda/balcony/whatever the word that describes my little outside space which hold clothesline and plant pots, sip lukewarm coffee from my mug. Sometimes I knit.
And think of the next plant or seed I get from the home center.

This summer, I got 209 cherry tomatoes from my tree. And thankfully killed it. The typhoon took the eastern-most course that we didn't have any strong wind. Just rain.

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