Friday, June 15, 2007

God Bless Kudzu

Down here in the south, summer means a lot of things and a whole lot of them have to do with food. The growin' season begins in April and carries on 'til Thanksgiving or so. Yankees would just die from the heat and humidity, and I'm certain that many of them did during the war of Northern aggression in betweeen raiding farmhouses for food and scaring the crap out of southern belles and their young 'uns.

Right at this very moment I am surrounded by the fruits of the earth, so to speak. There's green 'maters on the vine just beggin' to be fried up in corn meal. The corn is taller than me and all tassled up for a July 4th pickin'. Down the road a piece, the cotton is thriving during long hot days. And the kudzu? Lawd..y'all. It's taking OVER the place.

All of this rambling brings me to the subject of chiggers and snakes. Last year I went out to the peaches'n'cream corn patch to pull a few ears. Johnson grass grows pretty high in between the rows and I'll be dang if I didn't end up with a huge chigger festival all over my fluffy yet sexy body. Sometimes I ain't too bright in the country gal department, if you know what I mean. Take snakes, for instance. One crosses my path and *boom* I'm a big old pile of quivering fear lookin' for a man to kill it and save me from certain death with the venom and the fangs and all. That don't count the ones I ran over with the lawnmower or the car by accident. They're just roadkill like possums and squirrels.

I read on the internets that DEET keeps the chiggers off when a girl is out in the wild collecting food. Just so happens that we have a can of it stashed from last summer and it's sittin' right here beside me just itching to get all up in that corn and back to the riverbed where the blackberries are. We failed to plant any purple hull peas this year but Dusty did, so it's all good.

Tiger lilies are about to bust wide open with black flecked orange blooms that insist on being adored. Since the peonies and tulips are long gone, there's that autumn clematis growing like wild in anticipation of the early fall season when all the other flowers have given up the ghost. That's when the cotton and soybeans get harvested. I love the way God arranges all of that at just the right time for us Southerners. Especially the kudzu.