Friday, June 4, 2010

And I sing.."Tomato Fields.....forever"

This is one of the most gruelling of chores on the farm here- back breaking, heavy lifting, (monotonous-never!), and of course the prize goes to----PLANTING TOMATOES!!!
The field pictured at right is my blank canvas. Steadily, day by day, we are sketching out reasonably straight rows of holes and making it just gorgeous with tomatoes.
This year of course has had it's own unique set of challenges.
When I began tilling the freshly disked field, it was so dry, really not a touch of moisture apparent, and the weather was stifling hot.
My process is to till until I have a nice loose planting area, dig nice deep holes, and to each hole add a lovely shovelful of compost, before tucking the plant(clearly labelled) in.
Well we have about 900 or so plants in, with more to go. 2 gals, me and Lisa- on a mission.
We have been working through very difficult heat, 2 tractor breakdowns, rain on and off delaying things and of course the personal commitments that always need attention..(you know-laundry,pets, kids,meals,...and of course needy husbands, and chefs!)
But we're getting there, and will continue to plug away.
The beauty of it is that it is a blank canvas that I work with every year, and every year has the promise of something different.
Without question the last 2 years have been difficult gardening years. Last year was cold and wet, the year before, just wet.
It is great to be able to face each year with a sense of optimism for what is ahead. I tell everyone that this is going to be the best garden year ever...and it could very well be because no one can prove anything different.
I'm excited to see what the tomato field will do. Some new ones I haven't tried are intriguing, and perhaps more so because I have no clue at all as to what they will be. Some seed came from France with no description whatsoever. I chose them based on name alone... so what is "Lemon Head"," Visitation Valley" or Tuxhorn? Can't wait to see!
The planting continues next week, but each plant holds so much promise, that it is hard not to feel accomplishment with each plant tucked in. Good luck chums I say to them all. (And I do!) We'll see the rewards of this work in August.

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