Monday, March 15, 2010

The $40 Tomato


Last year my friend and I obtained a garden plot at the Lake Highlands Community Garden. We were so excited to have a place to hopefully grow some of our own vegetables. Neither of us had gardened before but we had some high hopes - visions of sharing our bounty with our friends and dazzling them with our green thumbs.

Unfortunately things did not go as planned. We got a late start on our summer garden and did not plant until Mother’s Day. We fought cucumber/squash bugs, which at first we thought were just unfortunate yellow lady bugs; squash mites, which we did not mistake for anything but, and the cute little bunnies that have found our garden and tend to help themselves.

We watered, weeded, and pleaded with our little garden to grow. It showed signs of promise, but unfortunately that was all. All in all by the end of the summer we had some peppers, three cucumbers, four squash, and a tomato, that a bird got to first. Our fall garden did much better as we found we had some talent with growing lettuce and broccoli.

This weekend under beautiful skies we moved 3 cubic yards of compost into our plot, tilled, and planted again. Cabbage, carrots, strawberries, broccoli, lettuce, corn, tomatoes, peas, and beans.

As our kids talked about what they were going to eat first my friend and I smiled at each other. We knew it really was not about what grew or didn’t (though a bit of a harvest would be nice). There is something about a garden and tending to growing things. It’s fun to watch the kids measure the progress of a plant as the bloom becomes the vegetable.

Maybe this will be the year for two $20 tomatoes.

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