Out bounds Ted W. and introduces himself and Ted S., egg gatherers and gardeners, historians and arrowhead collectors, canners and cartoonists, eBay sellers and farmers on a patch of acreage preceded by a dictatorial seasonal sign on the highway: Water Over Roadway. Their land does not rise above the level of the road.
Laden with fresh eggs, home-canned Swiss Chard and a brief history of the aboriginal trade route including a museum-like tour of arrowheads uncovered nearby, I promised to return for some of the plant starts I admired growing in the greenhouse and atop the kitchen counter under a growlight.
Yesterday I returned for more eggs and 3 tomato plants (5, actually) already more than 30" tall, which I brought home and installed in the prepared raised beds. (The tomatoes, not the eggs.) Unseasonably warm weather offset by a cooling breeze made for pleasant working conditions, spawning visions of over-productive tomatoes while stakes were installed, twine supports wrapped tenderly around the hothouse plants and wire fencing erected around the beds. Idyllic.
The temperature climbed toward 80 degrees, Wind picked up, the gentle breeze becoming more earnest, tossing in the treetops and creating waves in the adjacent hayfields, buffeting the shocked tomatoes and wilting them as they drooped against their bindings, crucified.
This morning they look like they may recover, thoroughbreds in a slaughterhouse pen, dispirited, barely alive. I hold my breath and await redemption.
By contrast, the 2 tiny yellow pear tomatoes from the maiden Thursday Market, veterans of chilly nights and typical NW Spring weather, are still at attention, in flagrant mockery of the fabulous giant starts that inspired my too-early yearning for greenery emerging from the beds. The Acorn squash seeds I cast hurriedly into 12" and 14" PVC recycled planters along the driveway are emerging from poor soil, and the peas are already reaching for the stock fencing. Radishes are poking through, onions and chives braving nighttime chill.
Warm and clear weather forecast for the next week. See you at the Thursday Market.