So we joined the neighborhood community garden, our neighbors and us. Two families working a 9 x 9 patch that's heavy on the inherited rhubarb.
One of our neighbors, Kat, sat with me and we talked of what we wanted to plant. She drew a beautiful map of the garden. She is an artist.
The other, Shawn, is also an artist, and a builder of things. He used the branches from a tree he trimmed which was blocking our sun to create an adorable little fence surrounding our plot, and an adorable little trellis for beautiful pea-vines and tomato-vines to climb.
Kat went in and planted some early things, like rows of lettuces, and those peas for the trellis.
They and their little daughters have been over there watering a few times, but it's too soon to be weeding yet. They'd be weeding if there were weeds to weed.
These neighbors, they're just the kind you want to go in on a garden with. Although at this point they might be wondering exactly what sense we're "in on it" with them.
This is what I have to contribute so far:
Eight poblano pepper seedlings.
I move them from east window to west window every day, and west to east every night. I stare at them. I hope at them. I had a small amount of anxiety when I read on the seed packet that they like warmth, and I should see to it that they are warm. My windowsills have not been warm in the last few weeks.
Now I know you can buy lights for these things, and heaters. One could spend quite a pile of cash on one's seedlings.
But I figure if God needed shop lights and heaters to sprout seedlings there would be no plants on earth at all, so I wait, with that hope-tinged fear that amounts to weak faith.
These four dixie cups: I have watched and waited and sprinkled with tiny dribbles of water and traversed them across the house. And finally, finally, I saw those little miraculous bending necks coming up out of the dirt. Now they have uncurled slender fingers of leaves, slenderer than strands of embroidery floss.
How will this ever turn into toothy earthy deep green poblanos? How?
We imagine them already as chiles rellenos, filled with good Mexican cheese, rolled in a very light egg batter, and fried. I can smell them roasting under the broiler, being made ready for many delectable purposes including creamy rice with poblanos. We can't wait.
But these unimaginably tiny seedlings tell us, we must.
The entire garden tells us, you must wait. Wait, and work, and watch, and hope.
Except for the rhubarb, which seems to plot a takeover with its neighbor, the sizable inherited oregano bush.
But for the rest of it, it's all an exercise in visualizing a green and fruitful future over against the dirt-filled, empty now. I am new to the community garden, and for now, my faith is as small as a poblano seed.
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