Saturday, May 09, 2009


earlier today as i was forking a huge quantity of manure into the compost bin i wondered why i felt so good. here i was doing something most would consider far beneath them. it doesn't stink in fact it smells kinda sweet, especially when it has already started to compost. i was truly enjoying myself.

later tabitha and i sat chatting, she had a similarly inspired epiphany. we talked about the ridiculous amount of effort we focus on a simple jar of canned tomatoes. we conversationally traced the jar of tomatoes beginnings.

it started a year or so ago with me forking manure while tabitha was milking the cow twice per day. that manure got turned once or twice in due course. as the winter cold forced us next to a cozy fire we pored over seed catalogs. this is where the hope truly sparked. we schemed and mapped caressing the idea of tomatoes. the seed order was placed. when they arrived in a little package we cooed, coddled and added them to our saved stash.

as winter loosened it's grip we dreamed of a greenhouse. we needed a greenhouse, toly would ruin every little seedling if they weren't out of his reach. so i build a greenhouse and it was good. finally after consulting the moon it was time to let every morsel of hope into it's nursery of potting soil. they grew and tabitha nurtured them with her most fevered maternal skill. at this time we had all but completely forgotten last years failure. hope had fully overwhelmed our senses.

the distant memory of failure compelled us to break new ground since tomatoes allegedly thrive on new ozarks soil. hope has given us drive and will to do whatever it takes to have a gardening success this year. we need tomatoes and lots of them. making garden where there have never been one is an impossible task, without hope. the quantity of rocks was absurd. the soil was mediocre but we had our secret weapon, the compost of dreams--the sweetest black gold to ever grace our land.

the plants were ready almost overdue to be planted. we tilled, forked and dug until we had a suitable bed for our babies/seedlings. we amended them and tucked them into a cozy bed blanketed with mulch. hope is overwhelming, it fills us with glee. creeping thoughts of failure strike fear with every passing storm cloud. we pray that the hail and ruining winds keep at bay.

from here the future will unfold and we will remain hopeful. we hope that on july 10th or so we'll be filling buckets with glorious tomatoes and that canning will begin in earnest. not forgetting the pico de gallo salsa and sliced tomato sandwiches. canning will be hot and crazy amounts of work. worry is accompanied with every step. will the seals fail? will the sauce burn? will there be enough?

why don't we just skip the expense and worry of all this? because fresh garden produce that you grew yourself is like nothing else on this earth. it isn't simply the taste. it is the process. a person has to become one with the seasons, one with the earth and one with each mouthful off food.

tonight we had a meal of our own doing. the delicious pork was from kirby and zelda. the steamed greens and salad came from our garden. the strawberries we picked fresh less than an hour earlier. the apples for the apple cake were canned last fall.

this is why and it is worth every struggle.
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