How does my garden grow? A little strangely. Sometimes I think it resembles the cafeteria on Deep Space Nine. Around my house, we don’t just eat, we eat and learn.
It isn’t really my garden. It is the handiwork of my ever-inquisitive husband with an adventuresome palate. He has seen to it that our backyard has, along with the predictable, a bit of the odd and exotic. Just now we are watching and waiting on the ripening of our ice-cream fruit pods and our tree tomato fruit. Why is it that things that are almost something your familiar with, but not quite, make me nervous?
The ice-cream fruit is not ice cream, which, right away, is a problem for me. However, its insides allegedly taste like vanilla ice cream. OK, but to get to the ice-creamy fruit, you have to crack open a long, bumpy, green pod that looks like a mutant string bean or maybe a dinosaur toe. You’ll never see Ben & Jerry’s packaged like that.
The tree tomato, I have learned, is also called a tamarillo and is native to South America. The fruit looks rather like a Roma tomato except it is said to have a flavor “that suggests a mild or underripe tomato with a faintly resinous aftertaste.” Hmmmmmm. I remember downing retsina wine in Greece, so we’ll see.
At first, the tamarillo plant grew straight up with large oblong leaves, looking just like Jack’s famous beanstalk. No sooner had I expressed my delight in that, then it dropped all its lower leaves, leaving a naked stalk saved only by the pretty orange bunches of fruit at the top. I love the leaves, too, of the ice-cream fruit tree outside my kitchen window. The odd pods may grow on me.
Meanwhile, I am about to pluck the pumpkin off my roof. Well, it’s actually on our patio overhang, where it seems to thrive. My spouse plants a pumpkin vine each year, pruning it to a single gourd in hopes of growing one of those really giant ones. We have only gotten medium to largish thus far, but my mad scientist-botanist husband continues his experiments.
So far, I’ve seen no strange, meat-eating plants to feed, but it is that time of year, now isn’t it?
Filed Under: Small Talk