Every farm is supposed to have a garden. So in this spirit I planted one of my own. This was no small feat for a city girl turned farm girl in-training. The only things I’ve ever planted were flowers already in full bloom and purchased from the local garden center. Usually half the plants died before the end of their season. While I was optimistic, I didn’t have high hopes for the future of my vegetable garden. I should’ve given myself more credit. Seems I have quite the green thumb.
The first ever Pinky Swear Farm garden is made up of uneven rows of cantaloupe (who knew they were so gangly!), cucumbers, green and jalapeno peppers, zucchini, several kinds of squash, onions, potatoes, eggplant, and tomatoes. Pretty impressive for a girl that doesn’t even like vegetables. I like the occasional helping of asparagus and spinach but, for the most part, my “vegetable” comes in the form of crispy french fries.
Thanks to an unusually wet spring and summer the garden quickly took hold. Something new always seemed to be appearing under the leaves. I was rather impressed with myself. Veggies grew so quick and large that some people thought I must live near a nuclear plant. No nuclear plant and no chemicals. Just plain ‘ol magic soil.
But then the tomatoes started ripening and my garden joy started to fade.
Again, I’m a novice gardener. I just planted things I thought would be interesting and I could force myself to eat. Apparently that meant planting 15 tomato plants. I thought I was “mixing it up” by planting a variety of tomatoes. Unfortunately what I planted were 15 cherry tomato plants. WTH? The only variety that’s growing in the tomato row is in the color: red and orange. Do you have any idea how many cherry tomatoes grow on a single plant? I stopped counting at a million.
Initially I was thrilled with my abundant crop. The fruit so pretty and fragrant, ripening in the summer sun. Then I realized someone had to pick all that fruit and that someone was me. It was fun gathering those first baskets of tomatoes…for maybe a day. Now what seems like a bazillion tomatoes and baskets later, there are still tons of tomatoes to pick. Some of the plants have hardly been touched at all. I’m overwhelmed and need to be rescued. Seriously.
Sure I could do some canning as people have suggested. But I can’t even get the tomatoes off the plants quickly enough. Tomatoes are growing outside the fence and have creeped over into my pepper plants. It’s total garden chaos and the tomatoes are taking over. I beg you, please, PLEASE, come to the farm and take a bushel with you. I hear they’re really delicious! That’s right … I haven’t even tasted them because I don’t normally like tomatoes (I only like them in bruschetta).
I’ve learned some valuable lessons from this first garden: 1. Plant more cantaloupe. Delicious! 2. Plant more things I’ll actually eat. 3. If I’m going to screw up, screw up with a larger tomato.
See you at the farm!