Tuesday, May 3, 2011

There are Cucumbers in my Pumpkin Patch!

Since my arrival in Samoa I have been fantasizing about starting a garden. I tried to start one about a year ago and was somewhat successful, with eggplant and chili plants sprouting. However, my joy was short lived as the plants were ripped up by some cheeky pigs (or children….), and I, too soon, threw in the towel and gave up on my dream. About two months ago with the help of some of my students, I returned to my dream. We spent a week preparing the area. First came the massive weed clean up, which took two days in itself. Trees were cut, pig droppings were shoveled away, and rocks were combed away. Next came the building of the rock wall to keep out the pigs. And finally, we planted. It was a meager garden attempt. All that was planted were two stalks of laupele (kind of like spinach), and a pumpkin plant we had found growing among the weeds. Of the three plants, one died right away, and the garden was left to it’s own devices. Every few days I go out and do some weeding, but I have not put great effort into this project.
A few days ago I began to admire the massive growth that has occurred in the pumpkin plant. From one simple plant I would now argue that I have a pumpkin patch! After school today I decided to check it out. I wandered over to the corner of my rock fence to check the progress of my pumpkins. And wouldn’t you know, there was a cucumber growing in my pumpkin patch!! I thought it was a joke; that someone had put it there, but no, I began to look closer and realized that 6 other small fruits are blossoming as well! My ignorance and willingness to believe that any leafy, viny, green plant with small yellow flowers would be a pumpkin plant gave me false hope for pumpkins. But now I have something even better to look forward to: cucumbers! Let’s hope the children don’t discover it!

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