Reporter’s blog: I cut back on gardening, but still ended up with twice the tomatoes
Every vegetable in my garden has an average price of $ 1,000 a pound.
Or at least that’s what it feels like.
With the time, effort, work and worry, especially for a garden I started to “save money”, I feel like every single bite is the most precious and frustrating I have ever produced have.
But I haven’t laid out that much garden this year. Only partially voluntary as the same gardening effects of the pandemic in 2020 were visited this year with high demand and staffing issues leading to issues like seed shortages.
Sudbury.com news editor Arron Pickard thoughtfully brought me a packet of tomato seeds earlier this year when I started choking people to get some. Sudbury, you owe him a debt of gratitude.
But I also knew that this season I would be working more in the office than I have been working from home for years. I can’t weed any more on my lunch break, so I’ve decided it is in my best interests to take it easy and only give in what we eat.
I kind of ended up with almost twice as many tomatoes as last year. At least my colleagues will benefit from the harvest. One joke I remember from my hometown of Farmville is that you shouldn’t leave your car windows open. Not because of theft, but because someone is trying to smuggle zucchini in, hoping to dump the summer flood.
I have so many volunteer plants! Apparently, if you don’t clean your garden effectively in the fall, some of the things you left there will grow back and you will have so many more plants.
Here, of course, is the part where I really get to it.
I didn’t put the garden to bed last year. I didn’t do canning, fermentation, or any of the storage tricks I would normally do. I usually collect everything we’ve grown and everything I can find and fill our basement. At the beginning of the pandemic, we were very lucky that we didn’t have to go to the supermarket at all for the first few weeks. (Except milk and coffee. I’m not a saint.)
I also didn’t have the urge that I usually feel in February to pull out my books and seed catalog to start planning for the year.
The first raspberries that got into the pavement hurt my heart a little.
All because of a beautiful black lab mix that stole my heart a decade ago. My garden friend Izzy. She died on October 1, 2020, the day after her birthday. It was sudden, unexpected, and heartbreaking.
She followed me around and happily ate whatever came out of the garden; their favorites, the raspberries, green beans and sweet peas.
The idea of these plants, these tastes, without my Izzy, was too much to bear.
I honestly didn’t think I would miss the garden so much. I thought I would ease the workload, the pressure ease, and Sudbury Market could certainly fill the taste gaps. But unfortunately. I actually miss my garden. I miss the purposeful joys of it. I can’t listen to the incessant sounds of my brain when I have to concentrate fully on training vines. I should say I focus on not breaking the vines, breaking them, cursing and then moving on.
I miss the food that gives me, how my niece loves my cucumbers best, how salad tastes when you have to clean up snails and earwigs, the warmth of a freshly eaten tomato from the heat of the sun. My corn, my potatoes, tomatillos, beans, peas and peppers. I miss all of them.
So if you don’t hear much from me in February, you know I am already preparing for the season with thoughts of my beloved dog and her love for our backyard grocery store.
I feel good from my top tomatoes.