Wednesday, May 20, 2015
to catch a thief
You may as well know it. Even though I masquerade as a law-abiding libertarian, I am basically a scofflaw.
For years, I have moaned about the quality of the tomatoes sold in the grocery stores in my Mexican village. They are no better than the Romas you can buy at a Safeway in Ogden.
Several readers have suggested that I pick up my hoe and grow my own. There have been plenty of reasons I have not yet followed that advice -- my travel schedule being the deal killer.
But I am about to toss out my anchor in Barra to ensure that I do not bust the limitation on absences from Mexico while I prepare for Mexican citizenship. To fill my time, I considered two projects: (1) buying a golden retriever or (2) becoming a tomato farmer. The vegetables won out.
As you can see at the top of this essay, I have limited my scope. Two varieties of heirloom tomatoes and one grape tomato variety. Miscellaneous strains of basil. Arugula for my watermelon-goat cheese salad. Greek oregano, to replace my rather pallid Mexican variety. And spearmint to spruce up my Greek salads and steamed vegetables.
I need to add a packet of English cucumbers to the inventory to fill out the cornucopia of vegetables I cannot buy locally. That should be enough to get me started.
The planters in my courtyard should provide sufficient space to handle the tomatoes. The herbs can then populate a yet-to-be-purchased pot -- for the foundations of a kitchen garden.
As for the scofflaw theme of this essay? As a German acquaintance in Manzanillo would put it: Bringing seeds into Mexico is not allowed.
Most countries with an economy that heavily relies on agriculture are very protective of what crosses their borders. The States are every bit as picky as Mexico is.
But I am still going to take them south. I will also violate the speed limit when I drive. Park in no parking spaces. And split infinitives with impunity.
At the end of this tunnel of lawlessness will be a bumper crop of heirloom tomatoes. I hope. Providing the blight does not take them.
If my smuggling included legumes, I would say: The end justifies the beans.