Saturday, July 27, 2013

From the Ground Up

Besides a week or so of sweltering humidity that was reminiscent of a Finnish sauna, the better part of the summer of 2013 has thus far been fair, fresh and terribly agreeable. 

Seemingly every morning, I wake to corn blossom blue skies dotted with benign and creamy summer clouds. I dodged the worst of the flooding that our downtown suffered a few weeks back; instead, our quiet east-end neighborhood has seen just enough gentle rain to produce lawns like an Irish meadow and gardens that are succulent and fecund.

Speaking of which, this July has confirmed for the first time that I can indeed grow the occasional kitchen-friendly flora in my modest city garden. Lemon verbena, specifically, is a wonderful herbal discovery that has been perfuming my garden with the playful scent of lemon drops (and is part of my biological warfare strategy - its strong smelling oils apparently drive away insect pests.)

Interestingly, a wayward seed from a rotten jack-o-lantern left last year by the curb has resulted in an amazingly tenacious (and unplanned) pumpkin patch that has been creeping about my front yard, providing me with gourmet edible blossoms and the promise of a wheel-barrel full of bright orange gourds. 

So, in a way, I see the pumpkin interloper in the front yard as a lovely little metaphor and perhaps a harbinger of good fortune (a soothsaying pumpkin patch, if you will). Here I see a strong, robust and beautiful plant thriving in a place for which no seeds were willfully sown, no fertilizer was laid and very little care taken. This plant provides flowers that can be eaten (delicious stuffed with ricotta and deep fried) along with rather corpulent fruit which represent the very epitome of the coming harvest. In the shadow of all my failed attempts at growing tomatoes and other veg over the years, it was ultimately my trash that produced the prettiest thing. Perhaps I'm digging around too deeply for some kind of meaning here, but it's just been one of those summers.

Oh, and there is also the fact that I just bought a restaurant.  

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