Week 13 CSA from Valley Flora!

  • Sweet Corn
  • Red Dragon Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Strawberries
  • Zucchini
  • A Tomato
  • Walla Walla Sweet Onions
  • Head Lettuce

On Rotation

  • Eggplant
  • Sweet Peppers

One Single Tomato: A Request Effigy

When I was a kid my step-dad had a dog named Marlene. She was part Basset Hound, part Electrolux: a big spotted tube of a dog with 3" legs, the most velvety-soft Basset ears, and beautiful black eyeliner around her doleful eyes. She loved to lie behind the woodstove, stretched out like a queen on her tuffet, until her speckled coat was too hot to touch. She also considered herself a lap dog, even though she weighed close to 70 pounds with a body as big and dense as a huge Lab. But despite all her domestic habits - some of them stupendously manipulative - she had a penchant for roaming. John, my step-dad, spent a large percentage of his years with Marlene searching for her, waiting for her, hoping for her return from her various forays. He was a runner in those days and would take Marlene out to Floras Lake to put in miles on the trails towards Blacklock. Inevitably her long snout would get onto a game trail and, despite her stubby legs, she'd disappear in a flash - usually for hours. The routine that followed went like this: John would finish his run, get back to the car, and then sit there in the day-use parking lot waiting for her until she returned, often around dark. He's a patient guy.

One winter day, though, she didn't return. It got dark, he waited awhile longer and still no dog. A storm was blowing in and John was reluctant to leave her at large, but he also knew she'd survived multi-day hound dog benders before and had started her life as a street dog. She was savvy and resilient. He finally gave up and made his retreat, windshield wipers sloshing furiously. This was before the new footbridge was built spanning the outlet to Floras Lake and overnight it rained so hard that the lake flooded and the makeshift crossing to the beach and trails washed out. John went back at daybreak and spent another day waiting for her in the parking lot, unable to cross the torrent - to no avail. The rain kept coming and the waters kept rising. He came home despondent, at which point my very proactive, type A mother - feeling exasperated about his passivity - asked him: "Aren't you going to DO something to find your dog?!" Then she went back to adding a new wing onto the house, or somesuch incredibly productive endeavor. (Uh, do you sense an interesting dynamic here?).

Meanwhile, John shuffled around the house and rounded up a bunch of old toilet paper rolls. When my mom came back into the house hours later John was playing guitar and there was a papier mache effigy of Marlene sitting on the tuffet behind the wood stove.

She considered it a moment, then said, "Ya und?"

"It's a request effigy," said John. "I want her to come back so I made that." 

At which point my mom couldn't hold it back: she burst out laughing. And she also got on the phone (this is the days before the internet, before Facebook, before everyone knows your dog is lost before you do). She called around locally and picked up a few leads, which eventually led them to a trailer in Port Orford a few days later. John knocked on the front door and when it opened, low and behold there was Marlene. She glanced at him, then went right back to gnawing on the pork chop that her new family had cooked for her. Ever the operator.

This week's one, single tomato is a request effigy: put it on your counter so it can finish ripening, while saying out loud: "I want more of these." 

It worked for John.