Thursday, May 01, 2008

Garden Update

My deck gave birth to a litter of cilantro plants yesterday. I must tell you, cilantro babies don't look like cilantro adults at all. When they come into this world, they are all like two tiny leaves and one tiny stem and they are barely green and so helpless, they don't even wave when you blow wind in their face. But when you pluck off those tiny leaves and taste them, you can feel the cilantro spirit not yet surging, but definitely germinating inside them.

They took a long time waking up. I first planted them in an old pot, a pot full of dirt left over from the previous owner. I called up my mother and told her, "Hello mother, prepare, for once, to be proud of your son for he is now helping the world meet its food-production needs."

My mother said, "what are you food-producing?"

I said, "Cilantro, mother, cilantro." I come from a family of cilantro fanboys. "Are you excited for me?"

My mother replied, "Yes, yes, I am excited. Did you break the seeds before planting them?"

I allowed a stunned silence to elapse for about a minute and a half.

"Break the seeds? Why?"

"Well, you have to kind of break coriander seeds before you plant them in the dirt."

"Okay mother, I will talk to you later." I had not broken the seeds.

I went and prepared an additional pot for cilantro-planting. Again, an old existing pot. This time I broke the seeds. Alright, that should appease the fussy Cilantro Deity.

But it didn't. I waited and waited some more. It didn't help that the weather suddenly turned cold. A week went by. Not a lot happened. I did improve my COD4 rank from 41 to 51 but that's another story which I could narrate again if you were to so desire.

I decided that it was the old dirt that was the root of the infertility. So I went and bought a fresh bag of dirt from the grocery. My suspicions were confirmed. The dirt manual told me that dirt only lasts for three months or so. Dirt comes with a manual. Long live Western Society. So I went and prepared a third pot for cilantro plantation with all the new dirt I had just purchased. I broke the seeds, used new dirt and watered the pot. Conditions couldn't get any more perfect than this. And then I waited.

And waited some more.

And finally, just as I was about to give up my agricultural dreams, two of my pots went into labor. It happened while I was at work so I couldn't share in the joyous moment but when I came home in the evening, I saw the cilantro babies and it was one of my proudest moments since the time I achieved rank 52 in COD4, but that's a different story.

The funny thing is, the two pots that first gave birth were full of old dirt, including the one with the unbroken seeds. I appear to be breaking new ground in cilantro cultivation technology.

Secondly, I have also planted tomatoes. No progress there. Tomatoes fussier than cilantro. Also, experience has now taught me that a farmer needs to be patient with his crop.

The other day, an Indian kid, claiming to be one of my neighbors, came by and offered to mow my lawn. "Really, does it need mowing," I asked him. I could barely see him through the grass so I asked him to shoot a flare so I could find him.

He answered yes, that in his professional opinion, my grass did indeed require mowing. I haven't been able to start my mower yet. I think it needs gas and I am waiting for the war to end for gas to become affordable again. So I said wokay, son, please do the needful. As I was watching him work on my lawn, he noticed that I was looking at my plants with pride and said to me," You know those are all weeds, don't you?", and he pointed towards basically everything in my garden.

The news stunned me. For a number of days, I had been watering those plants with love and water. I felt betrayed, like a prison guard who's discovered that the convict he took under his wing was actually stealing money from him. I was unconvinced.

"Are you sure? Is this a weed?", I asked, pointing to a small pretty yellow flower, a lot of which were scattered throughout my lawn.

"Yes", said the kid.

"What about this one", I said, indicating the tall thing with the crown of white things that disintegrate and blow away when you blow on it.

"Yes, that one is the worst", replied Dr. Greenthumb.

"Okay", I said with resignation. I had weeds.

The kid offered to rip them up for me but I declined the offer. They were my weeds. I had raised them and I would put them to sleep. So I bent down, began to uproot those ungrateful suckers and arranged them in a big pile.

"That is not a weed. It's actually a tulip", said the kid who was still hanging around like some kind of tomato fungus. I handed him the tulip root I had just pulled out of the ground and told him, "Okay, YOU do the weeds. I will be inside playing COD4."

I am ranked 53 now, but that is another story.


Anonymous said...

has your wife left you yet? mine did. I play on PC tho. I miss her sometimes. For instance when I need someone to scratch my toes or back while I play, or when i need the bed pan changed.


gawker said...

Ah mine loves Call of Duty as much as I do so I am alright. I did have problems while I was a pc-player though. Which is why you should probably get a PS3. It is much more wife-friendly.

But just to be safe, I have begun to toilet-train myself using instructional videos on the internet. The internet is a marvelous thing. Hopefully someday it will be able to to scratch your balls and toes for you.

zambezi said...

you and me have addictive personalities. remember that. stop playing stupid video games and meet people before you regress in time.
i will answer your other question with a phone call. i am scared and i dont know if i really can complete 75 miles without training. i havent done shit since the last time we met other than the 6 miles last weekend. when do you want to go kayaking? i will have to use a rental for now as my dear wife crashed the SUV and i need to get it fixed and i dont think i can carry my kayak on my other cars.

gawker said...

If I have learnt anything in my 32 years on the job, it is that killing people is more fun than meeting them.

You should be able to do 75 miles. We already did 30 miles and that was on a mountain bike. If we use a road bike it will be easier. Plus the route is flat. We shall go kayaking and we shall rent kayaks like everyday people such as me do.

I am sorry to hear about your SUV. I hope both of you are safe. I also hope your insurance did not go up too much.

El said...

hilarious! and i totally know what you mean, i have owned many a catus and watched them flower which is not quite the same thing but close enough. try maize though, it shoots through the roof in a week.

and you get bhutta!

Partho said...

Explain why PS3 should be more wife-friendly than playing on pc? I used to be a big Max Payne fanboy. Haven't really played FPS since.
But you got it right smack in the middle about killing people is more fun etc.
What happened, your progress seems to have slowed down since you made General?
Give my love to your unborn tomatoes.

zambezi said...

how much is the road bike? what the hell am i going to do with my mountainbike? i dont have space to keep different cycles for different crap. can we rent instead? road bike will kill my back. where do we register? we might as well do it. I will do it on one condition that the minute i say i am dying and cant go ahead anymore, you will stop too with me and one of ours wive's will haul our asses away. do you agree?

gawker said...

el : We did use to raise maize back at the old homestead. It was a lot of fun waiting for the cobs to poke their way out of the stem. Can't do that here though.

partho : Mostly because it happens on the television and not on the computer, it is more accessible.

As I rise in rank, the XP required to gain the next rank increases. Although I will probably graduate to President of the US by this weekend.

zambezi : I have been informed that a road bike costs a couple of hundred bucks. If you sell your iphone, you could buy one for both you and me.

We will bike till we are dead and then we will stop. But I am sure the threat of ridicule on this blog will provide you with the requisite momentum to bike to the finish so I am not very worried.

zambezi said...

i will ride it with the mountain bike or rent, borrow or steal a road bike. i dont feel like spending money. i dont have too much left anyways.

Anonymous said...

i too am currently in the process of cultivating my yard. Bought some seeds yesterday and then realized that they were supposed to be planted before spring! No flowers for me this season.
We have a grown plant/mini-tree in our front yard which used to be a little weed before. we used to admire it till we saw smaller versions of it growing all over our yard. Our lawn mowing guy was the one who enlightened us too. BTW, having a neighborhood kid mow your lawn is way cheaper than having a mowing service. you can also make that same kid shovel your driveway in the winter.

gawker said...

zambezi : Stop pretending to be poor. It is insulting to the poor who are actually poor. For example, I don't falsely complain about having to live in New Jersey because it is insulting to the pople who actually have to live in New Jersey.

anjali : I'm not sure I didn't get ripped off by the lawn mowing kid. I had to pay him 15 bucks and he only did my front lawn which is about the size of a portapotty.

If my weeds grow up to be trees, that would make me very happy. I guess weeds are like babies. Extremely irritating when they are small but when they grow up, they will support you and provide you with shelter.

Anonymous said...

Dirt comes with a manual :)

LOL !! Upload pictures of your plants and flowers when you get any :)

tangled said...

Advantage of not having left your tropical homeland - I threw some seeds from fruits I'd eaten into a pot of mud on the balcony, and a week later there were fifteen new green shoots poking their heads out.
I'm now waiting until I can identify them. :P