Wednesday, May 14, 2008

So Farm, So Good (Part 2)

I'm getting so close to having the rest of my garden planted, now that I have my herbs ready to add in the corners along with the last of the seeds. Only one thing is missing...


That's right, it's not a real garden in my family's book until you've got tomatoes planted. And though I know I will buy plenty of tomatoes this summer -- both through my CSA and from the farmers' market -- there's nothing quite like growing your own and eating them right off the vine.

So for this year's tomatoes, I asked My Dear Papa what kind of tomatoes he wanted. His request was the old-fashioned and heirloom variety of Rutgers.

Not wanting to start tomatoes myself from seed, I turned to an expert: the Original Organic Farmer. She greeted my request with great enthusiasm and offered to keep my tomatoes in the greenhouse on her farm until it was time to plant.

Guess what, Dear Readers? It's time to plant!

My Dear Papa drove me down to Elee's farm after work so that I could pick up our tomato plants as well as get a look around the farm as her growing season gets started.

As we drove back the lane, I noticed plants already sprouting in the garden, as well as several cold frames containing the first greens of the year.

We headed into the greenhouse to get out of the drizzling rain, and we found plenty of green growth there, as well. She had several flowers, a handful of herbs, and the last of her tomato and pepper plants waiting for a good day to head outside into the garden beds. She generously offered me a couple of pepper plants, something I hadn't really considered planting this year. How could I resist a pack of four small ancho pepper plants and an heirloom variety (I think; she couldn't remember the exact name of it, but a Google search indicates it might be Quadrato d'Oro) of chile pepper?

Well, I couldn't. And neither could I resist those big, beautiful Rutgers plants.

There were only three pots of them, but they had already grown so large that they sprawled all over the flat. Oh, my!

Once we had the plants tucked into the minivan, I followed Elee into her kitchen for two
dozen eggs from her very happy hens. Having enjoyed these eggs last year, I knew I couldn't visit the farm without picking up more!

We spent some time chatting (Elee and I, not the chickens), and she even introduced me to the newest member of her farm family: a little duckling hatched from one of this spring's eggs.

He's a cute little fellow, but I wasn't about to try and hold him: he wiggled a lot, and his babysitter -- a big grey goose -- was very protective!

My Dear Papa and I left shortly thereafter, and I sighed, thinking how much I would love to have a farm and a life like Elee's. I don't think I'll get it, but it's always such a treat to visit and to enjoy the tranquility and the hard work of her farm.

In the meantime, I'll keep working on my garden... starting tomorrow.

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At 5/15/2008 10:53 PM, Anonymous Janet said...

If I could grow just one thing, it would be tomatoes. Sigh. Just not enough sun in my yard. Hope yours flourish.

At 5/16/2008 7:27 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Happily, Janet, the bed for the tomatoes will get full sun... my friend and I planned it that way as we both want really good tomatoes! Photos to follow soon...

If I could share, I would, but I think there might be a major wrestling match between my dad, my friend, and me for those tomatoes! ;-)

At 5/17/2008 8:29 AM, Blogger Tina said...

*sigh* I must admit I'm envious of you and your garden. I had intended to get a community garden plot this year, but given my busy schedule, it's not to be. I'm taking the city bus to work now, and between my work schedule, my triathlon training schedule, and the bus schedule, I'd only be able to get to my plot on the weekends.:-( Given how dry it got around here last year, that wouldn't work. I may be going in on a CSA with a friend though.

At 5/19/2008 7:03 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Hey, Tina, I know how you feel... I was so envious last year! Sounds like you've got more than enough going on right now, though... and not to mention, you have a fabulous farmers' market nearby! Let me know if you sign up for the CSA; we'll have to compare notes over the summer.


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