The garlic is towering in my neighborhood's community garden and one neighbor’s asparagus is up. On the weekends, people are back and forth with buckets, spades and shovels and gardening gloves.
Over the past year, the garden has added another two lots between Sherman and Veto Street in the Central Northside, where I have a backyard garden. It’s a pretty nice-sized garden for the inner city but I have to apportion to each vegetable just so much space to fit in everything I want to grow. Based on the configuration and how the sun plays over it through the day, there is room for five tomato plants, maybe six, and I like to have five different ones.
Last year, for the first time, I saved seeds from tomatoes and peppers and although I have since learned that hybrid seeds won’t take, the Cherokee purple tomato was an heirloom, and those seeds sprouted some weeks ago in my windowsill.
Since then, I got a grow light and have watched them in awe, as if it’s a miracle that these seeds I saved, dried and froze have become tomato plants.
I have homes for all but the one I will keep, but my challenge is to decide which one to keep. Every day, I go in to look at them for indications. They all are standing up to the mild ruffle of the rotating fan, and they’re all about the same size.
A month from now, one will be in my garden. By then, I’ll be so happy to be planting tomatoes, I won’t even remember how I picked my Cherokee purple.