Monday, July 30, 2007

Gardening Stock

I come from gardening stock. The neat, carefully weeded rows in the first picture on the right is my father's garden in California. As long as I can remember, he has planted a garden. From the late spring through the early fall, the produce pours in. Strawberries, carrots, tomatoes, asparagus, peppers and squash overflow his brown basket. Some years are better than others. Sometimes your two year old picks all of the strawberries in the early morning dew. Or, in a competition to get the biggest one, your daughters pull up more carrots then the family can eat in a week. I still recall the amazing taste of the popcorn that my dad grew when I was a teenager.

In the winter, my father puts the off-season to good use. Soil is churned and fertilizer is mixed in. He pours over the seed catalog and his copies of Organic Gardening (which he always calls Orgasmic Gardening). Plans are made for the next planting season. I hear tale that he's got plans for an avocado tree next year.

So I come by it naturally, though my garden isn't as tidy and careful as my father's. But it is a reflection of the things that I have been learning my whole life. I planted early this year, but we had a wet and cool spring and early summer. So it was just today, July 30, that my first tomato was ready. With my son by my side, I picked that tomato and a zucchini to go with it. And tonight we supped on a tradition being passed on.

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