So. Moi may be the public face of Galatea, but civilization would not exist here on the mountain without its manager, Mr. J__. So, this morning, Mr. J__ approached. He knew I'm off to Europe tomorrow. He sez, "Probably be a good idea to take down the garden while you're gone..."
I just peered at him. He kinda looked away. He kinda and I kinda know...the garden has been a BUST this season. The tomatoes eked out to 56 balls, for crimeney's sake and it is a crime.
"We-e-llllll," I proposed, trying to pretend I wasn't feeling humiliated over my pathetic thumbs, "I sort of thought I'd harvest more basil. I'm making pesto and freezing them..."
Mr. J___ then peered at me. I appreciated him stifling his laughter. He said, "Oka-a-ayy. Well, we're not likely to do anything anyway until this weekend, after you're gone..."
I grunted in fakely indifferent attempt. Had I been wearing cowboy boots, I'da scuffed them in the dirt. Mr. J__ grunted right back, then turned to walk away.
Pause. He paused. He turned halfway back toward me and said, "You know -- it's not your fault. It was the wrong type of dirt for growing vegetables -- too much sand in dirt. We're going to haul it all out, and replace it with new dirt."
Then he moved on ... to the other part of the mountain where 50 big burly men were planting me some brand new lemon and lime trees.
Well! So dang if I ain't a dirtbag after all. IT WASN'T MY FAULT that the tomatoes were pallid, the onions aborted, the squash squashed, the melons tiny and the green peppers modest!!! NOT MY FAULT!
What a gift with which to start my vacation! Whooo-hoooo!
Tomorrow is another day, and so I post my very last Seasonal Harvest List below....along with my latest relishes along the wine and whine variety.
THE CITY SLICKER'S FINAL HARVEST TALLY
55 sprigs of parsley
15 yellow squashes
248 sprigs of basil
2 Santa Rosa plums
31 lemon cucumbers
31 sprigs of mint
16 Japanese eggplants
6 Crenshaw melons
10 stalks of scallions
2 squashes (white, but otherwise an unknown variety)
17 green peppers
5 jalapeno peppers
FRAGILE REPLACEMENTS (manuscript), poems by William Allegrezza
SISTE VIATOR, poems by Sarah Manguso
NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY, poems by Thomas Fink
THREE MOUTHS, poems by Tod Thilleman
THE NARROW ROAD TO THE INTERIOR, poems by Kimiko Hahn
HOODLUM BIRDS, poems by Eugene Gloria
ENDLESS STAIRCASE, poems by Sandy McIntosh
WHICH WAY TO THE EGRESS, poems by Sandy McIntosh
JANE, A MURDER, poetry by Maggie Nelson
THE PRESENT WORK, poems by Matvei Yankelevich
THE NINES, poems by Christian Peet
THE ANGER SCALE, poems by Katie Degentesh
POEMS by Philip Shelty with Images by Jim Long
READING DARWIN, poems by Kate Delany
A SLICE OF CHERRY PIECE, poetry anthology edited by Ivy Alvarez
COMBO 14/15, poetry journal edited by Michael Magee
A FAITHFUL EXISTENCE: READING, MEMORY AND TRANSCENDENCE, poetry essays by Forrest Gander
THE ACCIDENTAL MASTERPIECE: ON THE ART OF LIFE AND VICE VERSA, essays by Michael Kimmelman
A PLACE TO STAND, memoir by Jimmy Santiago Baca
A CIRCLE OF QUIET, memoir by Madeleine L'Engle
THE IRRATIONAL SEASON, memoir by Madeleine L'Engle
WINTERDANCE: THE FINE MADNESS OF RUNNING THE IDITAROD, memoir by Gary Paulsen
A CHILDHOOD IN TUSCANY, memoir by Keenta Bevor
SLEEPING WITH CATS, memoir by Madge Piercy
IT HAPPENED IN BOSTON?, novel by Russell H. Greenan
THE TRAVELER, novel by John Twelve Hawks
TRUE HONOR, novel by Dee Henderson
2000 Pindar Mythology
2003 J. Moreau @ Fils Chablis
2004 Rodney Strong Pinot Noir
2005 Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio
Laurent-Perrier, Brut Rose, Champagne NV
2001 Artadi Pagos Viejos Rioja
Chambers Fine Muscat
2002 Martine Estate Gold