Easter Sunday: the Garden at Great Plotnik World Headquarters
Asparagus Spear with Onions
Purple potatoes (left), White potatoes (right)
Flowering Kale, Vidalia onions
Climbing Snow Peas
China Plate Iris, fading Daffodils
Ceanothus with many honeybees
There are lots of reasons to lampoon Shmalifornia, but springtime isn't one of them. Plotnik thumbs wistfully through seed catalogs each winter, to no avail, wishing for more sunshine for his smuggled-in Padron pepper seeds, or large beefsteak tomatoes, or eggplants or sweet oranges or avocados. His tradeoff is no humidity or smog in the summer, nor ice nor frost in the winter.
He remembers living on the farm in Catawissa and, during the winter, sitting by the fireplace poring over those same seed catalogs, snow on the ground and the pond frozen solid. There, he couldn't wait for the last frost, that same frost that never comes to Saint Plotniko. So no tropicals or subtropicals there, but tomatoes the size of softballs, Duarte plums, Iochief corn.
He and Ducknik lived in Manhattan then. Plotnik would buy pepper seeds and plant them under grow lights, then when they sprouted place them out on the fire escape, and on the weekend transplant them into the garden in Catawissa. Usually they died but not always.
Easter Sunday is the official 44th Anniversary of Plotnik and Ducknik's real first date. The two stood by the window this morning, staring into the garden, and Plotnik thought: "On Easter Sunday 1969 we were drinking wine on Martha's Vineyard. On Easter Sunday 2013 we are eating bagels in Saint Plotniko. A zai a zee a zopp!" which is Plotnikish for "How lucky can you get?"