Friday, July 25, 2008

Home grown tomatoes

Home grown tomatoes
Originally uploaded by bonbayel.

I promised I'd write about our home grown tomatoes.
Even before I moved here, a friend told me that one of the great things about living here in Southern California was that tomatoes become perenials. We've had tomato plants in pots that really did last a couple of years.

But nothing compares with our crop this year. We have just 2 plants, but this year they're large organic tomatoes planted in our new bed with their roots down in the soil which has been enriched with a year's compost.

We have tried to keep removing most of the extra shoots and I capped all the top shoots before we left for Maine, but being away just 2 weeks they've sprung out all over the place. The plants are way over the top of our garden wall, so the neighbor can enjoy the top shoots now, and whatever tomatoes go over the wall as well I guess.

Except for one that had started getting pink before we left, which we took with us to Maine, the tomatoes just started to become ripe after we got home. So far we've managed with one or two big ones a day, but they're catching up on us!

John keeps singing the song John Denver made popular, with this refrain:

Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes,
What'd life be without home grown tomatoes?
There's only two things that money can't buy:
True love - and home grown tomatoes.

You can hear it here sung by the composer himself, Guy Clarke.

Tonight we had mozarello cheese, basil, black olives and home grown tomatoes for dinner!
Someday soon there will be so many that we'll have an incredibly delicious gazpacho. Mmmm!

"A World That Stands as One"

I haven't written in my blog for a long time. We spent a couple of lovely weeks in Maine that I was going to write about, but then came home to many tasks that needed doing first. Then I was going to write about the incredible tomatoes in our garden (that comes next.)

But then this morning I watched with tears streaming down my face as Barack Obama addressed a wildly enthusiastic crowd in Berlin, a city I have visited many times from soon after the wall went up in 1963 to soon after it was torn down in 1993. John visited Berlin, too, in 2000 before coming to Denmark to ask me to marry him - and then I followed him home to the America that was about to become George Bush's parody of the country I love.

Barack spoke from the Tiergarten, where 40 years ago I fell in love with my first (Danish) husband - the father of my 2 children - in the year of change 1968. Back then the whole area was either vacant, bombed out spaces, or the glorious buildings of the new Germany, including the new Modern Art Museum and the new Philharmonic Hall, with a messy and ugly wall just across the street, dividing a great city.

Another time I came for an EU conference where people from the various countries were invited to get together to discuss our common future. Twice I was there as a Danish German teacher, once on an tour of the city's architectural history, and once on my way to Erfurt in what was then Eastern Germany, along with teachers from around the world. My last visit was in 1996 on a trip with my chorale, with a view of a very different city from the one of my first visit more than 30 years earlier!

Barack envisions a world getting together and tearing down all of those walls we have been building in this world - and he asks us all - Americans, Berliners, world citizens - to join him to accomplish this vision.

Barack Obama has presented a daunting platform for himself, for the United States, and for the world. If you haven't seen his speech, be sure to give yourself time to watch it here.

After supporting first John Edwards and then Hillary Clinton, and then knowing I would support Barack Obama, I think this speech is the turning point, where I have now caught the passion for my support!