Confessions of a Part-Time Gardener

by Cynthia

The heat wave of early August finally subsided and the rains came. Long, steady, melodic rains that drenched the withered woods and carried the gravel on our steep drive down the hill in increasingly deep crevasses. I did not complain. The rain revitalized the grasses and now our pastures are waist-high and need to be cut again. The weeds took off too, and herein lies my lament. I am a part-time gardener. With eight-hour work days and a two-hour commute, the gardening has to wait until the weekends. The weeds, however, are on their own schedule. They grow like the dickens all week, making it difficult to keep the garden and yard looking well-kept. The vegetables keep growing too, thank goodness. They grow and ripen and fatten up during the week so that weekends are all about harvesting, cooking and canning.  Needless to say, I don’t do housework. Or laundry. And my social life is a bit lean in the summers. But the eating is good!

On Saturday I bought forty pounds of tomatoes at my local farmer’s market. Those forty pounds ended up in 6 quarts of okra and tomatoes, 9 pints of salsa and 8 quarts of diced tomatoes. I have officially resigned from growing my own tomatoes. I am a pathetic failure at growing tomatoes and I am blaming it on my job. Here’s my fantasy: If I were home all day, I could lavish attention on my garden and stay a step ahead of blossom end rot, and early blight, and aphids and fungus and all the other culprits that  rob me of big fat juicy tomatoes every year.  I’m done. I mean it.  At least for now. At least until I start getting seed catalogs next February. Then maybe just a plant or two.

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