Garden Surprise.

Well it has been awhile since I have written. It has also been awhile since I spent some quality time in the Garden. For weeks it has been quick forays to harvest kale, and more kale. So much kale. That and harvest another crop of tomato leaves and look at green tomatoes by the dozens with ire. My tomato purchase was ill planned and all of them are late season heirlooms. Everything was growing but nothing was ready- except of course the kale. Fortunately my wife has a zuppa toscana recipe that everyone in the family likes.

After an unusual August rain I went up this morning to beat back the tomatoes again and stare at green orbs before the heat came but among the green the palest pink sliver peaked out from the foliage. Inspecting around no less than five nearly ripe tomatoes rested in the twisted vines. My tomato growing method hails from a time when money was scarce and time was plentiful; they are wrapped around twine strung between posts. Without the time to attend to them they have become honestly a bit of a mess. The pumpkins were planted close to one row and they fight for space, the tomatoes wrap around each other and fall over Next year I will is my constant refrain in the garden. Get tomato cages, plant the pumpkins somewhere else, train the cucumbers, plant less kale. But this day many things came to harvest: a few tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and of course the green that shall not be named again.

After the harvest the “what do I do now” moment comes. The answer of course is pickles. Lemon cucumber with Thai chilies and roasted Anaheim and onions. The weather is perfect and not too hot for cooking before dark thankfully. Now the to call around and see who wants some of that other thing and plan what to do once the tomatoes start coming in force.

Summer is in its full glory now with the harvest beginning. I think back on all the years I thought next year that I would leave the city. Something always came up. I think back to an escapee of Los Angeles I met many years ago who said “no matter how much money you make in the [Los Angeles} the city will take it all before you go.” That was my Portland story too- from renter to homeowner to renter again I left with a uhaul and a motorcycle. From that moment to this was a long time (7 years) and many labors. But its good to take a moment and savor the progress.

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