I have a lot of interests and hobbies. Photography, playing the drums, biking, reading, hiking, writing, cooking; the list goes on. Sadly, gardening is not one of them. I’ve tried and failed miserably every time I've attempted to grow anything other than weeds. Weed growing, it seems, is where my talents lie. In the past, I have planted tulips that never grew because I somehow managed to plant them upside down. Believe me, the instructions were not that clear. The “As Seen On TV” Upside-Down tomato plants were a bust because of a minor thing called gravity which ripped the tomatoes from the stalk thus providing a veritable feast for the bunnies and bugs. Never mind that those stupid planting sacks each required 40 plus pounds of dirt. My raised bed Miracle Garden continues to mystify me year after year. The first year nothing grew because I might have, perhaps, well, maybe I forgot to add fertilizer. Ok, rookie mistake. The next year, we tried to grow tomatoes from seeds. Well, we misplaced the seed packets of course, and then planted too late, and well, lets just say, we managed to eke out one tomato and a funny looking yellow cucumber. Last year for some reason due to fact that I might not have watered the tomatoes on a regular basis, (meaning more than once a month) our crop was meager at best. Our cucumber crop however was amazing. Amazing in the fact that I have never tasted a more vile tasting vegetable. Sort of a combination of bitter and sour wrapped up in a crunchy-mushy consistency. It was a science experiment gone horribly wrong. Every single one ended up in the compost pile.
Well, this year, I decided to opt out of the Miracle Garden. I gave full reign and authority to my wife. Now, if something went wrong in the Miracle Garden, I would have someone else to blame. I accompanied her to the local Agway Store snickering and making jokes all of the way there, knowing full well that nothing but weeds and strange mutated plants can survive the Miracle Garden. We brought home six plants and I gleefully downed a few martinis as I watched her plant the tomatoes. Well, my wife, having carried and raised two sons knows a thing or two about nurturing. Day, after day, she was in the Miracle Garden, weeding, watering, plucking suckers off the plants. I have no idea what that even means but apparently its supposed to be good for the plant. And, probably as a general rule, it's a good idea to pluck suckers off of anything you hold near and dear. Just sayin’. After a few weeks, she had to stake the plants because they were growing so rapidly. After a few more weeks she had to get longer stakes because these babies were really freakin’ growing. Then a miracle happened. They started to flower. Whoa, this was news. And not just flower, but FLOWER!!! Then another miracle happened. The flowers turned into, you guessed it, tomatoes.
I mean these plants started to burst with tomatoes. We had an abundance, a plethora, a cornucopia, I’m running out of adjectives, so let me get out the Thesaurus, a profusion, a copious amount, literally mass quantities. In essence, a lot of tomatoes. And not just marble sized tomatoes. Oh no, these were huge. Like softball size. It got to the point that were giving these tomatoes away because we couldn’t eat them fast enough. I was exporting crates of tomatoes to third world countries. These tomatoes are the mythical Hydra of the plant world. Pluck off a tomato, two new ones take its place. I don’t even like tomatoes and I was eating them at a furious pace.
As I look out the window it is now fall and tomatoes are still going strong on the vines. When is it going to end? The vines are now well over six feet tall and still producing tomatoes. I did a rough count and there are at least six DOZEN tomatoes still there. This is in addition to the boatload that we previously harvested. Now THAT’S a Miracle Garden. So how do we top that next year? We do the Miracle Garden dance and pray for Round 2!