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Equinoctial Dreams
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The last little sproutlet of a tomato plant has been patted into place, blessed with water and caged. It's showtime, girls! You can start popping out those red beauties any day now. In my dreams.

Of course, I'm dreaming about red, ripe tomatoes. Not your sissy-prissy hard tasteless red balls found in the grocery store; I'm talking about juicy, tasty, [deep voice here] TOMATOES. I can taste them already, with that fragrance divine.

You do realize, don't you, that tomatoes are weeds: first cousins to the deadly nightshade? Where I was raised, nightshade grew wild in abundance. I used to look at it and shiver, thinking how close genetically to it was my favourite vegetable. If you pinch a tomato leaf, the smell is nearly identical and it remains on your skin for most of the day, no matter how much you wash your hands.

The soil is turned; the compost added. Not horse manure, thank you, the world being full enough of horse manure as it is (called "pommes de la route" by my stepfather). I've said "adios" to the snails and slugs (yes, life is cruel) and watered the plot thoroughly. I gave it the morning to dry out enough that I wasn't working in mud, then I turned the soil once more just to be sure, and in went my little beauties with cages for support.

It's odd at first, spacing them a meter apart or thereabouts. There's a little sprig of green here and there in a bare garden. But my experience from last summer tells me that they will fill in the intervening space quite thoroughly. If I don't leave enough room between them, I can't reach the weeds. Last summer the weeds had a field day growing unchecked in the back. This summer the weed-i-nator (weedster? weedyositer? weedwoman?) will have her way with them. Avaunt, wastrel weeds, away!

Just getting giddy at the thought of all those tomatoes. And because it's the vernal equinox

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