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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Return of the Tomato Fairies

I have this nagging dread my kids will be the ones who answer, 'from the supermarket,' when the teacher asks where eggs come from.

Mind you, 'from a chicken's bum' probably wouldn't earn them any points either.

With this fear niggling at the back of my mind we occasionally try to edjumakate our kids on how food makes it to our table.

We started a little vege patch a couple of years ago and suddenly the backyard was full of Tomato Fairies every afternoon, stuffing their mouths with handfuls of cherry and roma tomatoes. The kids loved it. I loved it. I felt very Farmer MacDonald, even though I had nothing much to do with the success of our crop - it was a wet season. I doubt the plants would have survived if they were reliant on me to water them: I struggle to remember to have a drink of water myself throughout the day.

Unfortunately the buffalo grass which frustratingly came with the load of soil I trailered home took over and for the last couple of years every time we looked over the balcony at the forest of weeds our enthusiasm evaporated like a puddle of pee in a heatwave.

We're not very good gardeners in Devereauxville. We're not green thumbs and we're not even very outdoorsy - I used to venture out a lot when I was a teenager, but mainly to find someone to snog. Still, every now and then we try to do better.

With the weather becoming a lot more pleasant we thought today might be a good day to plant tomato plants with the kids. We began with a trip to the Sunday markets to buy some seedlings. Now despite my honest assessment of my lack of gardening skills and any hint of a green thumb, I have to say the same can't be said for my enthusiasm for buying seedlings. So much so the guy at the market lights up and rushes forward to greet me every time I enter his stall. I'm embarrassed to admit some of the seedlings haven't even made it out of the plastic bag I've carried them home in.

It's not just tomato seedlings either. I've purchased no less than a dozen mango plants in the last ten years and only one of them is still with us and thriving - although I fear this may be due to being planted over a sewerage pipe. It's producing well though. Ten years and we've plucked about 8 mangoes of it. That's nearly enough to fill a $15 tray from our Marketman. So no chance of supplimenting our income by selling fruit at the front gate just yet.

So today, in stark contrast to the last 600 odd days, we started the weeding and digging with vigour and enthusiasm. This lasted nearly a full minute. 

In the end I did the digging and weeding while the girls played with the hose and dirt - ah well, it was nice to have them in the garden with me.

The girls' enthusiasm spiked again when it came time to plant the seedlings and water them in. Of the ten seedlings we planted, I've high hopes for the two they didn't drown or step on.

All we need to do now is remember to water our little tomato factories. Wish them luck: they're probably going to need it.

Anyone know a good raindance?

1 comment:

Kylie said...

LOL Good Luck with that.... let it Rain let it Rain let it Rain...... Also good for the (little) boys to water them.... urea is great for Tomatoes (it could be there job LOL)!!

About Me

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Bruce Devereaux is one of the nicest people he knows. When not at work he enjoys reading, writing, hiding from his children and not changing nappies.


His career, and if we used the term any more loosely an e might fall out, has included a gardener, a personal lender, a console operator, a stop/go man (not as big a bludge as you might think but great if you’re into sunburn, abuse and varicose veins), a cleaner of banks and pubs and, for a very brief period, a door to door salesman (until the last door he knocked on was answered by a very scary woman with tremendously hairy legs).


Bruce Devereaux currently works as a forty-five-year-old award winning customer service officer (glass statuette available upon request) for the Bank of Queensland and as a very casual employee for Corrective Services. He likes to believe he excels at both but then he has always been prone to exaggeration.


His favourite colour is green, with a picture of Dame Nellie Melba on one side and General Sir John Monash on the other. His favourite flower is self-raising.

 If you see him around town, call his wife immediately - he's probably snuck out and left her alone with all the kids.


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