Nature’s Nurturer

Photo: V. Slotto David's veggie garden last year

Photo: V. Slotto
David’s veggie garden last year

Nature’s Nurturer

It begins toward the middle of March, while we are still in snowbird-land. He drags out the bag of potting soil, his seed-starting paraphernalia and tiny heirloom seeds he’s ordered from catalogue. I cringe, knowing what I will face in the kitchen when the sowing is done.

That’s the shower in the guest room becomes a greenhouse, with the help of sunlight from the Solartube™ and a grow light. Several times a day, I find him there on hands and knees, watering, fertilizing and watching. It takes only few days till he beckons me to come and see tiny sprouts, emerging from the moist soil. In a few weeks, the first transplant occurs, giving them room for roots to emerge. Within a month, another transplant and then shorts spurts of outdoor acclimation and desert sunshine.

By the first week of May, our migration north sees the passenger seat of his car sporting plants that are already 2-4 feet tall. I follow him in my larger vehicle, the dogs sleeping in their crate in the back, waiting for him to be pulled over on suspicion of transporting pot. Upon arrival in Reno, sub-zero weather at nighttime prevails, so the routine of acclimatizing begins anew. As soon as the snow is “off of Peavine,” as Reno wisdom dictates, they are placed in their newly mulched and soil-amended raised flower bed. Going forward the day begins with watering and attentive care until at last

water, summer sun
engender fruit of labor
harvesting begins

Gayle is our hostess today for dVerse Open Link Night where we can post a poem of any topic and form.

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Photo: D. Slotto

Photo: V.Slotto

Photo: V.Slotto

Ah! Tomatoes

i
mere seeds in winter
planted with care and nurture
spouts emerge in early spring

Photo Credit:Victoria Slotto
David and Sparky

ii
water sun and soil
engender succulent fruit
harvesting begins

Photo Credit: David Slotto

iii
pure pleasure ensues
abundance shared with others
juicy crimson joy

Photo Credit: David Slotto

iv
but what do I see?
anomaly of nature
Frankenstein returns

Photo Credit: David Slotto

This post is more about the poetry of my husband’s garden than the poetry of words. Each year in the first week of March, while we’re still in the desert, David starts heirloom tomato plants from seed. He uses a growing lamp set up in the shower of the guest bathroom. When they get to be a few inches high, he tranplants them into separate pots and after a while, begins to introduce them to the Californa sun. By the time we leave for Reno they’re usually a couple of feet tall and he transports them in the front seat of his car, back into cold country (we usually have more freezes and often, snow, when we get back home). Then he needs to begin again to re-acclimate them to the weather, placing them outside a few hours at a time, while he rototills his raised garden bed. Around the last week in May, he plants them (along with other veggies and herbs). Sometimes he uses “walls of water” to keep them warm; quite often he has to sneak out at bedtime and cover them in plastic or sheets. Let’s just say he’s the nurturing type. (He does ALL the cooking).

The last couple of weeks he’s begun harvesting.  Frankenstein is an heirloom called Elmer’s Old German. We couldn’t believe the perfect suture line down the middle, as though Nature sewed two tomatoes together. Frankenstein weight 2 lbs, 0.5 oz and at his width measures 6 inches.

Please join us at dVerse Poets’ Pub for Open Link Night. Natasha Head is our beautiful, talented hostess. I’m on my way with last year’s batch of Bloody Mary Mix, made from our 2011 crop! I look forward to sampling your work.