Why is it always the bush beans and the tomatoes with the most absurd names? Some variety names are just plain confusing. And weird. Possibly a little bit embarrassing.
- ‘Kung Poo’ Sweet Pepper – The description reads, “Very red. Nice flavour.” And they got ‘Kung Poo’ from that?
- ‘Black Master’ Tomato – This one makes me a little uncomfortable.
- ‘Grub’s Mystery Green’ Tomato
- ‘God Love’ – Switch the words around and you’ve got a candidate for the Hustlers and Pimps Collection.
- ‘Digwall Scotty’ Tomato
- ‘Royal Chico’ Tomato
- ‘Lunch Bucket’ Tomato
- ‘Golden Girl’ Tomato – This one isn’t really strange but it does remind me of a certain eighties television sitcom.
You decide which is which.
- ‘Sugar Lump’ Tomato
- ‘Stallion’ Bush Bean – Would have been better if this had been a pole bean. Just saying.
- ‘Snow White Cherry’ Tomato
- ‘Turks Nuts’ Tomato – Described as purple/brown and ribbed.
- ‘Cherry Pink O’s’ Tomato
- ‘Uncle Willie’s’ Bush Bean
- ‘Furry Yellow Hog’ Tomato – Ummm….
- ‘Heaven’s Joy’
- ‘Isis Brandy’ Tomato
- ‘Isis Candy Cherry’ Tomato – Triple whammy, this one.
- ‘Long Tom’ Tomato
- ‘White Bush’ Tomato – This is too easy.
- ‘Boy Boy Tom’ Tomato
- ‘Leatherwood Special’ Tomato
Phew, that was fast. I put the finishing touches on an article late last night and it is already up on the Guardian website. This one, about the relationship between myself and my maternal grandmother is a bit more personal than usual and I am still getting used to having put it out there. However, it is also just the sort of thing I am pushing myself to write more of despite fears and reservations.
I’ve struggled over the years (more than I care to admit) with feeling like an outsider in the gardening industry. My personal history just doesn’t look like many of the stories I’ve heard from the overwhelming majority of garden writers. And so I have hidden who I am. That’s not to say that my writing is not honest or true, but that there is more, much, much more.
I have often felt that what I had to say about my own experiences was too much, too heavy, too messy, inappropriate for this venue (garden writing) …not quaint and cute enough. I’ve silenced myself in small ways as a result. As what I produce has increasingly become tied to my ability to make a decent living I’ve silenced myself still more.
I took the first steps away from that self-imposed choke hold a few years ago and then moved forward further still last year with the Recreating Eden documentary and a personal piece for Organic Gardening magazine. I saw these venues as opportunities to push myself and reveal more about past experiences that have lead me to where and who I am as a gardener. And as a person too. It’s difficult to separate the two and I suppose maybe the problem is that while my way of creating a palatable public presentation was personable, it withheld the complexity of my humanness. In the end neither the outcome of the documentary nor the article were nearly as dramatic as they felt at the time.
This new piece is another take on the Organic Gardening article, which will be evident within the first few sentences. I suppose the thing is there is no individual story that sums things up. I am often asked to talk about how I got started gardening and I have to admit that I have never been able to answer easily or succinctly. There are many stories, and a book’s worth of experiences that lead me to where I am. I know in my heart that complexity is the truth behind all of our lives and that if I want to see and feel that I am not an outsider (perhaps we all are) then I need to be willing to take a chance and step into my own fears a little bit. Or a lot.
This is the patch of several sage varieties that sits in the north east corner of my community garden plot. It’s quite a big patch — I grow more sage than I can possibly use within a year and always end up begging people to take some. In a small space I can’t grow the legions of squash that many gardeners complain about. In all honesty we could really do with more. Sage, on the other hand, is my squash. I love the herb for cooking and it looks fantastic in the garden, but really, there’s just so much of it!
I’m thinking about picking myself up some ‘Hookers’…. sweet corn that is. Har!
No, but seriously. While perusing the Seeds of Diversity 2009 Member Seed Directory I stumbled upon ‘Hookers’ Sweet Corn, a variety that is described as great for containers and small spaces with kernels that turn blue/black when mature. [Seeds of Change sells it too] I think I might have to give this one a try. I gave up on corn a few years back when the raccoons ravaged my container crops only days before the cobs were ready for harvest. Murderers!
In all honestly it was the variety name that drew me to look at the description in the first place. For some reason I always take the full colour catalogues seriously, but when it comes to the black and white text only catalogues the brain of an immature preteen boy takes over and I always waste the first go through looking for the most absurd and sexualized varieties. I then proceed to flag and highlight them. Oh the fun.
As a result, you can expect more lists like these coming down the pipeline soon.