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Rainy Day

It's raining in New York, i have plans of tidying up my mother's garden which obviously makes her happy. It is back breaking owing to my very minute size and besides, i never garden like this back home. I am confined to a few pots of herbs and that's it. Now it is official, sweet basil plants do not like it cold, kinda like me!! My sage, chives, spring onions and parsley have already grown to 2-3 inches but the basil is still less than an inch. They should be at least 3 inches in height by now, with 6 - 8 leaves, it's been a month already!!!

Anyway, we consume a lot of yogurts and fruit juices in large jugs here so i decided to use these containers to plant the seeds, not wanting to throw them away just yet.. I like to recycle the best possible way so i told my mother that we will plant some of the herbs in the larger plastic juice bottles, fill it up with organic composted materials which we have started a few months back and set them up in the deck where the temperature is a lot warmer. The tomatoes and peppers wilt and get stunted by the chill on the ground so i hope our newly bought plants will not suffer the same fate. In our area, you would need to spend $15-20 for a taxi ride to Walmart so you can get fresh fruits and veggies. I am a tomato addict and i need fruits and veggies fresh everyday so my solution? Plant some myself, and hopefully extend their growing season by putting them in a sort of covered cloched area in the deck. Most of the plants i started early this spring (naks, i can't believe i am including the words spring and winter in my sentences now ), are sitting happily in the deck, so maybe they really hate the cold in the garden.

We have a tarp so this will be our temporary shelter for the plants just in case the frost comes... Lord have mercy!!! Believe me, the whole thing is altering my sense of me at the moment. I sometimes forget who i am, what my name is and what i am doing here. Your routine gets changed, you see different people, no Pinoys around you, the tools and equipment i use to hold for 20 long years are gone. For 20 years or so you tread the same place, touch the same scoop and bang on the same table. All different now. One thing i am learning is that you try to pinch yourself just before you lift the covers off you when you wake up, no do not rush out of bed because you might answer to someone else's name! Make sure you utter a prayer to Him and hope the weather will be more conducive to your daily tasks. And yes, that you know you are still you.

Parsley on the front images on yogurt cups, on the left are the basil, top left are mixed flower plants on Maruchan noodle cups. One pot costs at least  a dollar and half here and that money can go to my enormous food bills. I dare not mention how much. For someone who has an aversion for meat and meat products, you know it is not cheap to splurge on fruits here in New York. I should have feasted on fruits and stuffed myself full when i was still in the Philippines, that way i could puke just at the very sight of fruits coming here. Just kidding.

On the ground, the herbs look lifeless and stunted. I pity my mother, she likes to garden after all, there is quite a space here but what's the point? Most need a warm greenhouse of some sort for starting the seeds early and we do not have one here. Then, when the seeds do grow, you harden it off on the deck, plant it out and they die due to the very low temperature. Tinatamad tuloy. So i told her, let's experiment and place all them in pots and create a mini garden in the deck instead of plotting them out in the garden.

Again, two of my most used herbs, chives and parsley. If you haven't started gardening as a hobby yet, please do, it is calming and quite an exercise, i think my waistline just shrank an inch!


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