Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

September 21, 2012

Misty's column: 09.21.12 >> I have a garden.

— I can only assume anyone who knows me just stopped reading because I talk about it, a lot. I’m like an overzealous mother when it comes to my garden. I’ve posted pictures on Facebook and Twitter. I even have pictures on my phone so I can visually accost unsuspecting people.

This is the first time I’ve tried my hand at gardening. The Crossing and Kokomo-Howard County Public Library started a community garden project this year, and I decided it would be fun. I didn’t know what I was doing, but somehow my plants didn’t die instantly. Actually, the tomatoes grew out of control.

At first, I was doing a good job of getting to the garden a few times a week, pulling weeds and watering and such. Then, as summer got in full swing, I got busier and it turned into a couple times or even just once a week. There were weeks I just plain forgot about it and didn’t make it out at all. After a couple of those weeks, especially with that crazy 90-degree stretch we had, my plants weren’t looking so hot. In fact, they were looking like they were on life support.

So, before I headed out of town last Saturday, I decided to do some pruning. Now mind you, I don’t know anything about pruning. I was, however, using sophisticated criteria for what branches to cut: If it looked dead, weird or was in the way, it got cut off. There was one branch I cut off thinking it looked dead and four green tomatoes came with it. Oops.

As I worked my way toward the middle of the row, the branches were so thick I wasn’t able to use the scissors. The new plan was to just reach in and pull out handfuls of whatever came out without much resistance.

I was getting scratches all over my hands and I’m not sure why. It’s not like tomatoes have thorns. The movie in my head had the tomatoes fighting back. Little legions of tomatoes had banded together to stop the scissor-welding giant from a land far away.

“She must be stopped!” they shouted while raising tiny swords in their little red hands.

Anyway …

So, when I get home from vacation tomorrow, I expect to find one of three things:

1) I will have healthy plants and be overrun with tomatoes.

2) I will have a bunch of dead tomato plants.

3) I will find the tomato army has reclaimed its land and have a bounty on my head.

— Misty Knisely, Interim [friday] editor/tomato killer (maybe)