Posts tagged ‘weeding’

April 26, 2014

When I Grow Up I’ll Be A Farmer

by Cynthia

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I’d been pulling weeds around the raised beds in the garden for a couple of hours this morning before I remembered to stop and stretch my back, sit down and rest a minute. Realizing how weary I was already, at only ten o’clock in the morning, a voice inside my head sneered, “Why are you doing this? This is nuts. You could hop on down to the farmer’s market and buy all the vegetables you want. Why do you spend so many hours out in this garden?. (The voice was on a roll and getting louder). You could be doing other things, more important things. You could be reading that new novel all your friends are reading. You could be doing volunteer work. You could be improving your mind, going to the gym, writing that book you always talk about wanting to write someday instead of breaking your back pulling weeds. Jeez.”

I had to admit, the voice had some good points. I don’t have to be gardening, so why do I? How do you explain something, even to yourself (and the voice inside your head) that feels like a compulsion, like something you just have to do?

My daughter gave me a little book for Christmas, one of those “Words from my Mom” books where your write down things from your childhood so your great- grandchildren have a records of your existence. It was sweet of her, but it made me a little depressed. The book is a reminder that someday I won’t be around to speak for myself. One of the questions the book asks is “What did you want to be when you were a little girl?

When I was in high school I wanted to be a professional weaver, and in college, a dietician. A few years after college I realized what I really wanted to be was a psychologist. I never became any of those things, although I came closest to psychologist when I became a marriage and family therapist. But when I was small, I wanted to be a farmer. I spent some time each summer on my cousin Diane’s farm, playing in the hay loft, riding horses, dusting tobacco plants, collecting wild berries and fishing in her pond. I thought it would be the greatest thing in the world to grow crops, and ride around on a tractor and take care of animals on my own land.

I suppose I pull weeds, and plant seeds, and grow my own food so the little girl inside me can play at being a farmer.

After the weeding, I transplanted tomato plants, all heirloom varieties from seeds saved from last year’s crop: San Marzano, my favorite paste tomato, Amy’s Sugar Gem, a very sweet heirloom that produces vines heavy with golf ball sized yummy fruit, Garden Peach, which is a  cultivar of a native South American fruit mainly from Peru where they are known as Coconas,  Costaluto Genevese, an ugly little knobby tomato with an intense tomato taste due to its high acid content and Mac’s Round Green, a little green tomato that I got from another Master Gardener in my county and have never eaten

I think I’ll put the “Words from my Mom” book inside a box, along with some heirloom tomato seeds. If my great-grandchildren really want to know who I was, they can plant a few of these old tomato varieties and taste for themselves a bit of history. One bite of a Garden Peach tomato on a hot summer afternoon and they’ll understand why I was a gardener!