Random Thoughts

A farmer's lament

... the hardship of gardening

by Carol Nelson

This has been my 4th year gardening next to the weathered shed, between the Levi Gould building and the parking lot. I started early, mooning over the seed catalog in February and trekking to Mahoney's, in Winchester, to buy the tomato plants before Memorial Day. I chose carefully. I went for the Big Boys: green, sturdy and leafy.
But most of all big.

I planted in pots filled with good earth from the Melrose town yard. Free. I staked. I watered faithfully. The sun shone.

I added hanging and potted red geranium for color, a window box of cascading asparagus fern. I hovered. They grew.

When the plants reached almost five feet I was amazed, but where were the tomatoes? The yield was, let us say, disappointing. Eight on the right tree and ONE on the left. Hardly enough for a proper B.L.T.

There were many opinions on the lack of tomatoes. Some say I over- fertilized. There was tittering in the evenings when we lady farmers came to water and gloat. Someone said "Carol... Market Basket, 99 cents a pound. Tee hee."

So I went out and bought some and wired them to the plant most lacking. Everyone was delighted with the miracle. I harvested laughs.

Just wait til' next year!

September 3, 2010

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