Monday, August 11, 2008

Pruning tomatoes

This morning I asked the boys to help me get some work done in the garden. E's job was to collect all the bits of tomato plants that I pruned and load them in the wheelbarrow. He was quite distraught that I was pruning the tomatoes and even though I explained several times why I was doing it he was clearly not happy about it. At one point he found a stem I had cut off that had two teensy, tiny little tomatoes on it, he questioned me on it so I explained again that I was mostly pruning off excess stems and some flowers so that the fruit that was already set would grow more. I told him that I wanted the plant's energy to go towards growing and ripening the tomatoes that were already there instead of towards producing more stems and flowers. I could tell he was still not happy about it (to say the least) when he asked why I was "killing" the tomatoes. I explained one more time and then asked him to just pick up the pruning bits and trust me. A little later he took a bucket of plums to a neighbour and then came back to help me with some other chores. My neighbour came over later to bring me one of her Walla Walla onions and she also wanted to tell me about her visit with E. She had remarked to him that he didn't look very happy when he delivered the plums (they are good friends and she knows him well), he said that he had been helping me do chores and so she thought perhaps he was grumpy about that. He then said to her, "And do you know what mommy is doing?" She didn't. So he went on to tell her that I was cutting up all the tomato plants...and that I had even cut off two little tomatoes. She listened to his story, complete with hand gestures and lots of emotion. Then she asked him if he knew what she had done yesterday, he asked what and she told him that she, too, had pruned her tomato plants. And that seemed to satisfy him. I'm not sure why. Either he trusts her gardening judgement more than mine or he just doesn't care about her tomatoes as much. Anyway, I find it all very funny and love that he feels such concern for our tomato plants.And, at the end of the day, we all enjoyed a nice tomato, cuke and Walla Walla salad.

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