Someone asked me in mock exasperation if I had named my tomato plants. So of course, I had to. The big Jubilee (yellow tomatoes) is Rasputin (hard to kill) and the Terrific (red beefsteak tomatoes) is Audry (from Little Shop of Horrors.) The four Roma tomato plants, bought to provide tomatoes for freezing, are the Rolling Stones (longevity) and Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood both have tiny green tomatoes. Charlie Watts is pictured above.
I thought the flat of Roma tomatoes had four tomato plants, but it actually had five, and being unable to just throw out the one I really didn't have room for, I put it in a pot and stuck it on a deck. Pictured below is Brian Jones, who is in a better place than the other Rolling Stones. (Okay, actually not. The plant is more spindly than the others, although still setting blossoms.)
I'm very invested in these damn plants--or at least what they stand for to me. I know what they represent and it is all unreasonable: control in economically uncertain times, the promise of some self reliance. They are my bomb shelter, my gun collection, my little utopia. It's absurd. Seven tomato plants aren't going to sustain much. As for control, they are subject to whims as arbitrary as the economic and social weather we're experiencing these days.
Their next threat is the replacement of our roof, sometime in the next couple of weeks. When roofers are stripping a roof, they have to toss the shingles somewhere, and it will only take one shingle to completely wipe out Keith Richards. So I had it written into the roofing contract that they won't toss shingles on my garden.
I haven't gotten a single tomato yet. It's only April and even in Texas, where the growing season starts early, it's too soon. But I'm already thinking about how I'll expand the garden next year. Garlic. Maybe some onion sets. More peppers (I only have one chili plant.) Assuming I do get tomatoes, by July I will be sick of them. Rather than expanding the garden next year, it will be interesting to see if I even have one. (Well, probably herbs, I've had herbs for years. Herbs are weeds and take very little care.)
I dream of solar panels. I think about how even if we paid off the house we'd still have to pay real estate taxes. We are becoming the problem that economists talk about--people who will not spend. If spending is down, the economy continues to stall.
Did you know that in Austin, it is legal to own chickens within the city limits? That would cover some of our protein needs. The eggs, not the chickens. Yesterday we were talking about what we would name chickens if we had them. We decided we would name them Soup, Parmesan, Cacciatore and Esmeralda. Bob always wanted a chicken named Esmeralda.