Ask the Tomato

I decided to grow a few tomato plants this year, and it’s been awhile since I’ve grown anything, so I looked for some advice on the web.  I wanted to know how often to water my tomato plants.

It seems it really doesn’t matter.  I would have been just as well off asking the tomato.  I found several sites, dedicated to gardening, with seemingly authorative advice on the issue.  However, they all differed.  The answers ranged all the way from everyday to once a week; and I don’t simply mean depending on different weather conditions.  I mean, listing the same types of conditions (mid-Summer, not much rain, deep South), the answers varied this much; and these are ‘organized and professional’ sites on gardening.  I’m not trying to ‘dis’ these people that provide this information, because I know they are just trying to be of friendly assistance.  I mean, it obviously is not as important as I thought it was.

Exasperated, I asked a small kid, while I was hiding a smile, how often to water my tomato plants.  He said I should water them when it gets hot outside.  Sounds like a good answer to me.  If a tomato could talk, I bet he would say water me every day.

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Brother Cadfael

Does anyone else see Brother Cadfael as being a smooth, layed-back guy? If you don’t know who Brother Cadfael is:  he is a monk and apothecary at the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul in Shrewsbury England during the 12th Century. He is a fictional character created by Ellis Peters (a pseudonym of Edith Pargeter), and appears as the main character in a series of short mystery novels.

I accidentally got hooked on the Chronicles of Brother Cadfael by thumbing through one of the paperbacks because it had a cool looking cover.  In fact, all the Cadfael books have good medieval style artwork on the cover.  I am a history buff, and I knew the monasteries in that time period were sanctuaries from the harsh life outside, as well as cultural centers.  I like to learn how day-to-day life was at that remote time.  However, what got me hooked on the series was Pargeter’s magical ability to weave such an enchanting world and a such a charismatic monk.

Cadfael, with no official authority, is the primary detective and problem solver in the area of Shrewsbury.  Partly because of the civil war that was raging at the time, many of the pilgrims and travellers passing through the abbey have problems with the law, or even family, because loyalties are divided between the two factions.  And more often than not, a lovestruck young couple is being kept apart because of social differences, a tyrannical father or mother, or marraiges arranged for reasons other than love.  Cadfael uses his generosity, charisma, wit, wisdom, influence with the sheriff, and crafty detective work to make wrongs right and to bring young lovers together.  He does it not for personal gain, but because he is a man at peace with himself and God.  He does it because he has nobler motives and a true goodwill towards his fellow man.