NaPoWriMo: Poem – Heirloom Seeds – Alaphabet Poem -“Various Seeds Alphabetically”


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And now, our (optional, as always) daily prompt! April is a time for planting things (at least where I am, in Washington DC – you may still be waiting for spring, or well into some other season!) At any rate, I’ve recently been paging through seed catalogs, many of which feature “heirloom” seeds with fabulous names. Consider the “Old Ivory Egg” tomato, the “Ozark Razorback” or “Fast Lady” cow-pea, “Neal’s Paymaster” dent corn, or the “Tongues of Fire” bush bean. Today, I challenge you to spend some time looking at the names of heirloom plants, and write a poem that takes its inspiration from, or incorporates the name of, one or more of these garden rarities. To help you out, here are links to the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and the Baker Creek Seed Company. Also, here’s a hint – tomatoes seem to be prime territory for elaborate names. And who knows, maybe you’ll even find something to plant in your garden! Happy writing!

Please see NaPoWriMo for more information. Hated this prompt by the way! 

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Abundant Bloomsdale spinach: sounds tasty to me. You may think it’s odd but I like raw spinach in my salads.

Bisignano number two paste tomatoes: Not a huge fan of tomatoes unless, they’re in a sandwich, or made into tomato soup or sauce.

Cucuzzi Edible Gourd: I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a gourd; it’s not my kind of vegetable.

Dill, Long Island Mammoth: I love dill in certain dishes and foods. I especially adore dill pickles and nylsnki in dill sauce is heavenly.

Erlene’s Green Cotton: to make lovely cotton clothes out of; I love cotton in the summer to wear when it’s hot outside. Cotton breathes so it keeps you cool.

Four O’clock Don Pedro’s: mixed colours; don’t know what those are because I’m not a gardener. Flowers maybe?

German Johnson Tomato: I don’t know why there is so many kinds of Tomatos. The people in the Middle Ages thought they were poisonus you know.

Hopi Pink Flour Corn: Sounds like yummy corn to make flour with; is it truly pink?

Italiko Rosso Dandelion: Some people eat dandelions in salads, not me they’re weeds.

Jing Orange Okra seeds: I’m drawing a blank on what seedling this could be, but it sounds wonderful.

Katanya Watermelon: I wonder what this watermelon looks and tastes like? I hope it’s sweet and juicy.

Lemon Basil, Mrs Burns: This lady knew her basil; such a tasty spice in certain dishes. Is this basil lemony tasting? 

Morning Glory, Grandpa Ott’s: I believe this is a beautiful flower; I’m thinking of the song line, “What’s the story morning glory.”

Native American Po’suwaegeh Blue Corn Seed: Blue corn would be great,steamed or BBQ’d; then you can put butter and salt on it. Yum! 

Old Virginia Tomatos: Again, more tomato varieties?

Petunia, Old Fashioned Vining: They are such a pretty flower and petunias on vines, how lovely.

Quinoa, Cherry Vanilla:  I see you’re trying to make quinoa seem tasty; I hate it and Cherrry Vanilla makes it sound  grosser! 

Rosita Egg Plant: I would try this, only a bit.

Sorghum, Black Amber Cane:  1/4 lb, sugarcane I think. Love it, they make sugar from it! 

Toothache Plant: I think I’ll keep my distance.

Umbrian Cicerchia: Is it some kind of spice or maybe beans?

Vietnamese Mint or Balm: Mint is incredibly refreshing! Kills bugs around the baseboards too essential mint oil mixed in water.

Xiaohulu Gord: I’m pretty positive you cannot eat this kind of gourd.

Yarrow: What is yarrow?

Zuni gold bean: These beans sound delicious steamed with a bit of becel.

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©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved

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A Garden


Prompt: Tell us about a sensation — a taste, a smell, a piece of music — that transports you back to childhood.

There is an earthy acerbic smell around me and as I slowly pull the weeds up with my small hands I look around at the garden that takes up almost half our back yard. We ate organic before it was hip. To one side are the sweetest little strawberries you ever tasted and sunflowers with their tasty nutty flavour. There is parsley, mint, chives and probably some other spices hidden in our garden.

As you reach the middle of the garden are three to four rows of peas strung up on wire. Those more then anything remind me of childhood. Picking them to freeze for the winter, but mostly just eating them raw. Cracking a shell open and eating the sweet little balls of green and leaving the big overgrown peas to reseed the ground. Then there are the beans and everywhere inside those bushes hide these long medium thick crunchy green vegetables that I love fresh with butter and detest blanched and frozen and saved for winter months. There are cucumbers, mainly for pickles, zucchini for chocolate zucchini bread, carrots my little dog spunky eats if we’re not careful. She’ll leave just the tops if you let her.

Also, I can walk among the rows of corn that some years did splendidly and other years just withered. I can dig up red potatoes for stew and if I go far back there are prickly raspberry bushes where my other dog Nikki ate raspberries off of the ground and we carefully climbed into the bushes to find raspberries for freezing for jello desserts and ice cream sauces.

Not to mention we had this huge apple tree we use to climb as kids. Big apples and little apples of various kinds were grafted on that tree and we ate as many apples as we could until we were sick of them. There was home made apple sauce, apple juice, apple pies, and apple crisps. Both dogs use to take bites out of the apples on the ground, throw them up, and play with bitten apples. At the end of the season there were 40 different apples with one bite out of them.

My grandma had a garden too. So, gardens and fresh produce remind of being a little kid and eating all that fresh organic food. I remember long days help my parents pick beans or dig potatoes. And there were so many weeds to pull and too many bugs.

However, the strangest flower bloomed by the garbage cans and pile of compost in a bin in the back yard. Every year their were red roses peeking up beneath the grass. Hiding there like some forgotten unspoiled beauty in the crunch of vegetables.