My morning started with an episode of Franklin (the turtle) and the lessons learned from his garden. He proudly showed his well-cared-for plants to Bear, only to discover that his newfound friend, a caterpillar, had been eating the leaves. The lessons learned, every episode has a lesson, played out when Mr. Mole explained that the garden has room for all living things. All? I share with the birds and even the pesky squirrels, but I’m not quite as hospitable with whatever microscopic nematodes are interested in my tomatoes. My tomatoes are prized!
No blue ribbons or county fair prizes, but they are very dearly anticipated, bathed in love and happen to provide so much pleasure. Doesn’t everyone get pleasure from a vegetable garden? (Yes, I do know a tomato is fruit). I am completely committed to organic gardening, no matter the loss. So far, since I’m willing to spend ridiculous amounts of damage-prevention cash on slick organic defense, the loss is very small, yet it does bring to mind the good old days when I doused every living thing in Sevin. And it worked! No more caterpillars. I no longer trust an insecticide that comes by way of Bayer CropScience—or any other biotechnology genetically engineering our food supply, but all politics aside, I really am just highly uncomfortable with label warnings containing a long list of PPE’s—that would be recommended Personal Protective Equipment.
Yes, the pre-concern days of pesticide danger were easily the good old days of gardening. Ignorance trumped concern, and my garden was pest free. But today if I’m going to have a garden it seems at least reasonable to consider avoiding pesticides, so that’s my goal. And can I just say that my intention in this posting is very clear. I think EVERYONE should at least grow a tomato plant. If you don’t think you’d enjoy a fresh tomato, I am a little suspicious that you haven’t actually tasted one. Please be well advised that a fresh garden tomato isn’t even remotely connected to the faux-produce we typically purchase at the grocery. Many of the tomatoes we buy are picked green while they are still perfectly shaped and gassed to produce the color we expect them to be. No blemishes, yes, but also hard and tasteless.
So if you’re wondering what this has to do with well-being? I think it has a lot to do with mine. I enjoy connecting just a little bit with nature while watching something delicious emerge from a tiny seed or small nursery purchased plant. I am so thrilled watching something I care for mature to give me red, orange, yellow, and even striped, big, small, grape-shaped and delicious mature fruit. Paired with drizzled truffle oil or a high quality balsamic vinegar I don’t even need to mess with lettuce.
It’s not too late. Go to your garden center and purchase a strong healthy plant that is almost ready to give fruit. It will survive potted in a sunny patio spot if you don’t have more to give. I know you will enjoy the pleasure of watching it develop, and then if you still aren’t sure you care, you can at least enjoy half the pleasure. What you don’t want to consume can be shared as a gift to a good friend. It really could be an act of love!! And as I always say, if you have little people in your life, introducing them early to the joys of the garden is a must!!
- The Scent of Tomatoes Reminds Me Of… (garden-eats.com)