Words and pictures from the author of the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
I've been suckering tomatoes -- cutting off the little shoots that grow up everywhere a branch comes off the main stem of the tomato plant. Left to its own devices, a tomato plant will turn into a jungle of greenery, sprawling lushly over the ground in multi-stemmed abundance. But the problem is, in the soil (or, at least, in our soil) are spores of various tomato blights which can kill a plant before it ever bears fruit. So we sucker and trellis our 'maters, keeping them well off the ground and providing lots of room for the air to circulate, in hopes of staving off the blight till the tomatoes have produced a good crop.
It's not a bad job. And after running a hoe through the garden and adding another tier of baling twine to the trellis, I'm quite happy to sit down and scoot along on my bottom, cutting off the tender sucker shoots and mounding the loose dirt around each stem. When it's all done and the garden is tidy once again, it's a wonderful feeling -- order out of chaos, just like a mystery novel.
One of my email buddies asked last night when I did my writing -- did I have a set time -- so many hour or words every day?
The answer is no -- sometimes the demands of life have to come first. In the summer, the only time I can count on for writing is now -- the time between supper and bed -- however long I can manage to stay awake.
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