Friday, August 14, 2009

Fräulein Gardener

"Oh Fräulein ..." Am I dreaming? Or did I hear something? I am definately the only one out at the garden at this time of night, I thought, as I snapped away with camera on my new fancy tripod, trying to capture my beauties in the last minutes of precious twilight.

"Fräulein ..." said this time a bit louder.

What is this? I asked, pulling the camera trigger and adjusting my eyes to look around. Am I suddenly in the Sound of Music and nobody told me? Who thinks they can call me 'Little woman?' I looked around, and that is when I saw the neighbor, a garden neighbor whom up until now had avoided me like the plague, and I was fine with that after my run in with creepy Italian. But this time he was the only one around, and he seemed to think he was calling my name.


I squinted across the tomatoes and what has quickly become a pumpkin patch now that the beans are all frozen and tucked away for another day and the onions are mostly pulled up. There, standing just on the other side of my personal yellow marigold boundary, was the neighbor, holding up a bag obviously swollen and heavy with something, nodding that I should come over and get it. Slowly, I walked over...

"Fräulein... would you like tomatoes? Me too many. Soon I need pull them all out. Two weeks all gone. You take."

This was harmless, I realized. And free bounty. He was my new best friend. I knew we would get along just fine. So I took the bag and asked about 100 times if he was sure, before I realized that if I kept asking I might just get a tour of his garden. Too late... he did have enough and I was happy not to refuse his bounty of perfect plum tomatoes, cucumbers and aubergines. All things I did not grow. Coincidence? I think not. So I took the items and thanked him - then he asked what I was doing and I explained in slow German that I was photographing the plants. He was surprisingly unalarmed and showed me some beans he wanted me to take a photo of, and I promised I would. Then as I was getting my camera, he disappeared into the night - leaving me with my camera and at least 10 pounds of produce.

Just call me Fräulein Gardener. As long as you come with produce in hand, I don't mind one bit.

Messing around with the new tripod...

What's left in the garden?
  • Sweet corn - yum!
  • Chilis - two types
  • Lots of basil, parsley, dill and spring onions
  • A few more pickling onions and large yellow onions
  • A million marigolds, both the large ones and the small mixed variety
  • Pumpkins galore - orange ones, gourds, little baby ones... I am a sucker for the pumpkins and love finding the gourds hanging from the long ago blossoming sunflower stalks
  • Zucchini - but not for much longer
  • Salad - the late varieties are coming now along with the spinach and winter cabbages and Asian salad variety again
  • Tomatoes - although I got hit by the blight that everyone warned about, I have had a few handfuls of the cherry tomatoes and there are more to come, still hopeful
  • And a few more things that I cannot remember... but the dog days of summer are gone, replaced by mosquitoes and a very big compost pile... ;)
Not too shabby for planting it all from SEED! Is it?!!! ;) (Except for the potatoes and onions...)

Have a great weekend and enjoy the lovely weather!
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Sean said...

Sometimes I read your blog I think you are a little strange... good strange though! Nice post!

Anonymous said...

Was fuer eine tolle Geschichte! Bin uebergluecklich es zu lesen. Wie Du im Foto, muss ich auch ein bischen hupfen!

Chantal said...

I find that Swiss gardens/gardening are great for stories. Yours was no exception!

Geotacs said...

now isn't that a most wonderful day!

to be able to take beautiful pictures and getting free produce of the land!

wondeful indeed!


Jessica said...

Hello everyone... thanks for the great comments! I love hearing from readers. So thanks!

Sean, I think it is ok that you think I am strange... good strange, that is. :) Not all of us can take such awesome, though-provoking photos. Some of us have to fulfil the strange quotient in the world. hehe

Zurich - go ahead. Hupfen away. :) Macht doch spass!

Thanks Chantal - I remember your gardening adventures, too... or those that your neighbor forced upon you! hehe

thanks, Geotacs for the comment, too. You also have some really great photos on your site! thanks for commenting so I could check out your site!

SwissRant said...

This post really depressed me. Firstly, because I cannot imagine how horrible it is living in Zürich and only having an allotment (if you actually bother to to rent one)...
And secondly, because despite having a garden of 400m2, I have nothing like what you have growing.

You are doing an admirable job. No wonder the Swiss are accepting you.

Oh, and I am guessing it was an older gentleman that called you Fraulein?

Anonymous said...

I love your blog, it's great to have some insight at how people see us Swiss as we are!
If you want more swissness for your garden, you should check out Zollinger Samen, a small seed company producing seeds from special Swiss cultivars.


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