Posts Tagged ‘tomato’

Garden Pests

June 10, 2008

There’s just something about growing food in my own backyard that creates in me a bond with my pioneering ancestors.  Just me and the dirt, a seed and God.  I feel organic, like I’m doing my part.  Ok, this is a stretch because I only have two fruit bearing species:  the never-yet-produced-anything strawberry plant that has healthy leaves… no berries, and the sickly-spindly-shriveled-leaf cherry tomato plant.  I have eaten every tomato that has come off of that pathetic plant…. with the exception of two.  One I lovingly shared with my husband, the other was a victim of a garden pest drive-by shooting.  Literally.

I had coaxed my thin waif of a plant through two ferocious wind storms that left the leaves mangled and brown.  Still I watered, talked sweetly and fertilized the cherry tomato hopeful.  Imagine my rush of pride when the first yellow blossom appeared, promising fruit.  I faithfully watered, sweet talked and protected the plant from the wind.  Eventually the little beauty appeared and grew to the size of the end of my thumb.  Daily I checked on it and watched the dark green turn pale, then yellow, orange and finally a scrumptious red.  I decided one day that the next day I would be savoring the sweet goodness.

D-Day.  I awoke feeling carefree and safe, not knowing that I had been victimized.  When I was at the kitchen sink that morning, I glanced out and the sight shocked me.  I could see the little tomato hanging on to the vine with it’s last bit of strength.  It was mutilated, I thought by birds, but I could see white dots that I assumed were insects.  Upon closer inspection, the white dots were indeed pellets from a youngster’s gun.  This was my first leaning toward gun control.  I could see how the bright red tomato was a tempting target, but for goodness sake, it was my FIRST one!  I returned to the kitchen and asked loudly, “Who shot my tomato?”  Laughter erupted.  Stern words were flung.  That was the last cherry tomato to die from gun wounds on our back patio.  Sheesh.