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As the garden has fast become a jungle I’m left waiting for the tomatoes to ripen. I am pretty patient about the tomatoes because once they start to ripen I become crazy busy. I don’t want any of their goodness to go to waste. Last year during furlough I was able to can every single tomato that come off the vine. It really was quite the feat for me! I was so proud of all that I had accomplished. Meanwhile, I ponder the cost of it all.

person standing on grass field while opening hands
Photo by Kourosh Qaffari on

This year without a furlough in sight I am constantly worried if and when I will have time to do the things required of me. Yet, I enjoy the chaos. The sterilizing jars, making concoctions of spaghetti sauce, salsa, or soups, the filling the jars, the canning process all time consuming, and all rewarding.

News from the garden… a short note

The garlic has been harvested. It was the northern white variety, and it is currently hanging in the shed to cure. In the garlic’s place I have planted spinach (giant nobel), kohlrabi, white onions, green beans (bush variety), and they are all probably going to overwhelm the small area I put them in. It all has a plan, a purpose. I call my method of gardening “The Jungle Method” plant as much as you can in your space, and watch the jungle grow. I accidentally harvested some carrots as I was taking out the garlic. They were small, but good. Dante’s and rainbow carrots all colorful and premature. Oh well, I’ll get more in the fall crop.

As the jungle thickens I am reminded that I need to thin out the tomato plants so the fruits are larger. I cut all the sucker branches, and anything that won’t produce fruit. Years past have shown that this method of madness does in fact make the tomatoes larger. Also reminded that the pine shavings have been a great investment, as they are doing their job and cutting down on the weeds significantly.

Speaking of madness, and garden chaos I have a reading suggestion for you fellow gardeners. The book is one of my favorites for sure, and so easy to relate to especially in my gardening experiences. It’s called “The $64 Tomato” by William Alexander. “How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for the Perfect Garden.” I believe I first heard about this book listening to some show on NPR. I was hooked, and couldn’t stop reading and laughing.

If interested I found it at the local library, but it is definitely available on Amazon. (I know this because my original copy was borrowed and never returned.)

So meanwhile, the thoughts of the $64 tomato make me wonder. Um, how much have I put into the garden this year? How much return will I get out of it? Will I sell some produce this year? Will I hoard it all for ourselves? I’ve already begun to consider the local Farmer’s Market to unload a surplus of apple butter, canned jalapenos, and some other odds and ends. Considering. Really, really considering.

Oh, the mammoth sunflowers we planted are indeed mammoth! They are well over six feet tall already! The cornish cross chics that I picked up are growing so fast! The two ducklings that hatched are getting big, and they are so cute! Honey is thickening nicely, the four new Pekins I drug home are settled in to their new home, and are getting closer to their butcher date. Everything is falling in line. Just left to wait for the ‘maters.

When life gives you chaos and jalapenos…. remember… live a simple life and make salsa.

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