Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Their Gojis Are Bigger Than Yours

 “Mine’s bigger than yours” - You get it in all hobbies, pastimes, pursuits and in war mainly.You don’t mind competition, you just don’t like the mouthies who insist on telling you that they’re better at food growing - that their gojis are bigger than yours.

Their gojis are the size of your marrow fat peas, their peas are the size of your cherries, their cherries the size of your sprouts, their sprouts the size of your onions and their onions the size of your head (which by now has a pain in it).

Thankfully, unlike say, World Federation Wresting and rap, you don’t get too much of the old bragging in the gentle world of food growing.  There’s green eyed jealousy among the green fingered in droves, but rarely do people openly boast about the size of their nuts.
Except within family.

It was THIS big!!!
But family doesn’t have those normal feelings-sensitive receptors which we normally deploy when we dealing with the rest of society at large. At the same time, we tend not to mind an assault of horticultural superlatives as much if they happen to come from a family member. Like a turnip, your skin is thick skin to familial cuts.

As it happens my extended family has the most gardeners ever (boasting here) - and everyone is an expert. We also like to tell each other as much. 

My brother is a graduate of the country’s leading Botanical College and now head of the biggest division within the country’s biggest landscaping outfit – so he at least has a fair claim to superior green fingers. I'm the one with the column, the book and blog (boasting again).

Two of my uncles and my dad get their gardening cojones from the university of gardening life and it is from this quarter that I get the majority of the “size” based vegetable spoutings.  My dad, known as  EOE (expert on everything) likes to dig up anything that isn't performing in his garden and make a present of it to me (the daft thing is he tells me this as he’s handing them over) and then he brings me in to his garden to show off the food producing that are excelling: "Loganberries, the size of your THUMB - have you ever seen the like of them?!"

One uncle we meet for a beer every week has been known to slap a big (not huge) onion on the counter in the bar at 10.30pm and chirrup “Well what do you think of THAT then?! Now THAT’S an onion. THAT’S what I call an onion.”

My uncle taking one of his onions to the bar yesterday
With my youngest uncle recently joining my Dad in retirement, the competition heated up at his end. And he’s got himself a greenhouse. “You’d want to see the SIZE of the cucumbers …and the tomatoes MASSIVE tomatoes” – his hands spread out, his eyes bulging for effect as he tell it.

When the previous uncle couldn’t make it to our weekly drinks session, he couldn't resist giving my Dad an outsized lettuce head he’d grown to take to the bar - just  to show me how big they were growing them up at his place. Except Dad didn’t bring it  – he chopped it up instead and ate it. “Mmm yea it was biggish alright,” he conceded slightly when accosted over it a week later. ..........“Not as big as mine tho.”

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