The Mint Custard garden is now 5 months old and despite lack of experience has brought a surprising amount of happiness. They may have been bonsai-sized, but carrots, onions, beetroots have all grown from seed to garden to kitchen table, and lettuces and spinach leaves have grown aplenty.
Next cab off the vegetable rank are the cherry tomatoes (which I suppose makes them the next cab off the fruit/vegetable rank depending upon your persuasions) and harvesting has already begun.
This is now a race against time, because I am under attack from an erstwhile friend of mine – the caterpillar. Yes, where once, thanks to the genius of Eric Carle there was mutual joy that such a small creature could happily much his way through not just leaves but ice cream, salami, watermelon, cheese and a lollypop – now there is the murderous atmosphere of former brothers at war.
I am not moved by his cute “inching along” type movements. I am no longer impressed by his ability to camouflage himself against any coloured leaf. I am particularly unimpressed at the speed at which he can eat through an embryonic tomato which I have loving cultivated from just a seed through drought and 46 degree days and (minor) earthquakes.
I have found myself alone amongst my pot plants; silent, stealthy and ready to pounce. I hear the words of Jules from Pulp Fiction bastardised in my head: “And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to eat and destroy my tomatoes. And you will know my name is the Gardener when I lay my vengeance upon thee...”
Of course, as a pinky-lefty commie pescatarian I can’t actually bring myself to execute my new foes (though I did accidentally cut one in half with a pair of shears). To get around this I have found that if you place them up high enough their lush greenness makes them highly attractive to passing birds. Especially when they are deep fried and wrapped in bread crumbs... Let this be a warning to you Mr So-Called-Very-Hungry-Caterpillar - (assuming you have internet access) - stay away from my tomatoes, motherf*cker...