Saturday, August 26, 2017

Infestans


Had you asked me one week ago, before my excursion to New York City, about my tomatoes, I would have told you how wonderful they look, not a blemish, not a spot, so much growth if but a little slow to produce. The weather had been perfect -mid eighties daily, mid sixties nightly, occasional rains, some quite heavy, but spaced well enough to dry the soil and leaves consistently.



But you did not ask me a week ago, you asked me today, after temperature and moisture have acted in concert to produce a bloom of quick death, the ebola of tomatoes, a harshly sudden and lethal affliction with the curious botanic moniker P. infestans, late blight.


We can only watch as the plant withers, top and bottom, leaves, stems and fruit. Picking from this blackened tangle of vines is like stealing from the dead; the experience of tomato too close to mush and slime, one picked from this vine makes an appetite for it tarnished, rotten.  



It will be only a matter of days, maybe by this weekend, that the once strong will be blackened and slumped. I will watch them die and think about what little control we have over life, the one we wish for and the life we wish away.


The tomato patch after severe cleaning.



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