My garden dried up and I thought it died. The squash leaves drooped, the bell peppers hit the ground and wrinkled, the okra was wilty and the cotton was sad. You know it's hot and dry if the okra is wilty and the cotton is sad. I soaked everything on Saturday evening all the while apologizing profusely. By Sunday morning it looked as if all was forgiven.
I made my way around the beds and shook my head in awe at how quickly the plants had responded. The Jimmy Carter bed even gifted me with peanuts! I've had my eye on one plant in particular. It's leaves are a little paler than those on either side of it. I thought that might be a sign that it had done everything that it could do and I've been trying my best just to leave it alone. By Sunday I could no longer resist.
I found my short-handled cultivator nearby and I ever so gingerly raked at the surface of the soil beneath the plant. I put my fingertips in the loose dirt and felt around like I do when I'm feeling for an egg under a hen. And there it was, a woody little shell. I dug some more and found four peanuts near the surface. I pulled them free and went back to the house.
I think Michael knew I was trying to hide something behind my back.
"It's hotter than hell out there, " I told him. And then the big reveal,
It worked. My Virginia Carwiles sprouted and grew. They're a nice looking plant; mostly healthy with very little insect damage. I'm going to give them another few weeks and then I'll cut back on the watering before pulling them up.
I'd like to send a few to Jimmy as a show of gratitude for responding to my letter. The only thing stopping me is paranoia and an overactive imagination. In my mind I very neatly address a small box and enclose a handful of peanuts contained in a baggie. I include a brief letter and tape everything tight. But even with the care I've taken, the little package is suspect and intercepted. It is shaken and xrayed and sniffed by dogs, only to be destroyed in an open field or on a tarmac somewhere. I don't have enough peanuts to spare for out and out destruction. I'm just going to have to shell them on the porch while sending warm thoughts of peace and love to Georgia.
A little bit of Texas with a little bit of Georgia...