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I sing of veggies...

18 March 2011 - 08:07


I am super freakin' excited right now! It's alive! ALIIIIIIIIIVE...!!

Well, "they" is more accurate. What the hell am I referring to? Plants. Onions and potatoes, specifically. My family and I started our own garden a while back. Two weeks back, a month? All three of us were going through a bad funk and it was beginning to affect the kiddos. So the Dud got the idea in her head to start a food garden. It was something we had meant to do for years but never really got around to. (Kinda like me with going back to school.) Then this year we got inspired to get started on one when the damn peaches finally bloomed. Ever since we lived in the projects, we used to have the most pimpin' garden around, complete with a peach tree in the center. When we moved, we brought along some pits from its fruit and managed to raise four treelings. Of those four only two made it, and only just barely. We've been living here how many years now? And only last year did they begin to give fruit. And by "give fruit" I mean they only gave one peach between the two of them. So imagine my delighted surprise when I go outside one morning to see both trees covered in soft pink blossoms.

So the Dud says we should complete the garden, start growing our own produce. Since we're all kinda depressed, 'Ama and I go along with it, kinda like a splurge, spur of the moment thing. I buy jalapeño plants and strawberries, Toty gets onions and potatoes. I already had a tomato plant at home that some teacher had given my Mom after a science project and I somehow fell into the role of caring for it. (I call it my Tomato Friend.) So we go outside, clear a patch in the ground, and garden away. Now our garden's growing, in more ways than one. Just last week I went and bought more plants: three tomatillo plants, a cherry tomato, a chile serrano (c'mon, we're Mexican, we gotta have our chile), two zuchinni, and two fruit trees. Plum and pear. Mmmm....

I think I'm more excited about this new project than anyone else in my family. There's just something about this whole process that relaxes me, helps me grow as much as those plants. Plus it reminds me of my grandmother. I think it's from her that we have a deep love and respect for all things that grow. She passed on her green thumb to 'Ama, and she to my sister and me. Hopefully Rosa Isela and I will be able to pass it on in turn to Ángel, Aneli and Iban.

Don't get me wrong, though. Just because I say I'm the one most thrilled by this doesn't mean the rest of my family isn't. We just happen to get excited in different ways. Mom quietly observes the plants, going outside on the pretence that she wants to give the mutts fresh water, then drifting over to the greenery to water them, too. Me, I like going out there early in the morning and talking to them. I tell them how proud I am of them, how I know they're making a massive effort to grow and bear fruit. I ask them to push down with their roots, to stretch their stems to the clear blue above and grow. And yeah, some days, I even sing to them, albeit off-key. The Dud says I'm such a kid. I tried explaining to ger that talking to the plants and caressing them lightly really works, and she said, "Well, duh, you're breathing on them when you talk. You know what we breathe out? Carbon dioxide. You know what plants breathe in? Yeah, your voice has nothing to do with it, just breathe on their leaves."

I beg to differ. :P

All I know is that today, onions and potatoes are growing in my garden, life begins anew, and it makes me happy and giddy and just a little silly. So I sing.

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