Sunday, April 21, 2013


For the last eight days I have been transplanting tomatoes non-stop.
Some days I take meal breaks, but not all the time. This is a job that needs to get done, so I have been setting unrealistic expectations for myself, which, if I succeed in accomplishing, become the standard goal for everyday.
Wednesday I hope to finish the tomatoes, then it is just odds and ends. Lots of basils, flowers, lettuces, brassicas, ground cherries and more remain to be done.
The numbers pale however in light of the volume of tomatoes.
Most days I work alone. I slip the pots into the tray, scoop the soilless mix into a tub and then dampen it, stirring it like a mad chef until it is throughly moistened. Not too wet, not too dry, just right.
I  scoop the mix into the pots, tray after tray of pots until my back is sore and then I know it is time to transplant.
The weather this year has been a challenge. If memory serves me correctly though, it is pretty much the same every year.
The sun shines, so I open the door, blast the fans and sweat. The sun disappears, I turn off the fans as the chill settles in. Friday and Saturday were very cool and windy days so the door was shut, the heaters on and I wore as many clothes as I could reasonably move about in.
At night I draw the plastic over the hoops on my greenhouse tables. You can feel the cold settling in and the baby tomatoes don't like it.

Most days when I am alone I listen to the radio. I marvel at how many times the same commercials are repeated and honestly wonder if people really do listen to the radio all day. How can they stand these inane commercials? MacDonalds burgers crafted? Tim Horton's "can't think of anything but bacon" commercials. These don't make me want to go there. They make me want to run away screaming.
Towards the end of the day I have had it with the radio and off it goes. I like the silence at the end of the day and if I have met my quota, usually 1000 plants per day, then I do my wind down work. I write up plant tags, I seed something that it has occurred to me that I have forgotten or I sit and think.
 Over the past few weeks I have had many people say to me that I am living their dream. In my head I think that they really don't know what my life is like. I work very hard at what I do. People see the end result, but not the sweat that goes into it or the limits that living this kind of life places on you.
When I'm tired I think that maybe the time is coming when I won't want to do this anymore.
But most days I realize how lucky I am to do what I do and to be so well supported by the wonderful people who purchase my seed, plants and vegetables.
I know it always has been my dream too.
So tomorrow I'll go out and do it all again.
Bet I will next year too.


Izabell Fagan said...

I still don't know how you do it. You are an inspiration to me.

Bill said...

I live much the same life as you, spending many hours in the greenhouse or in the gardens working alone. I can't stand the radio so I listen to audiobooks. I can use my cell phone as a player so I don't have to carry anything extra.

You can get audiobooks from your library in most cases, a lot can be downloaded for free or you might be able to get some from friends.

I listen to non-fiction. I've just finished a history of the great scientists of 1780-1810, a book on physics, a history of classical greece, etc. They really take my mind away to another place and I'm learning a lot while I work.

I saw the phrase about people seeing the end result but not the work in my google search and had to come check it out as it hit so close to home.

Good luck.

esmondperry said...

I like tree transplanting.
Thanks for sharing your story of tree transplanting.