Sunday, July 08, 2007

My $54 Tomato

As my profile indicates, I am a country boy at heart. At least I fancy myself one. To me, that means a green thumb should be part of the package. Aunt Shyla is a master gardener and creates the most beautifully lavish gardens. Father is an avid (and excellent) gardener and each year manages to make his table groan under the weight of his bountiful harvest. Onions, cabbage, carrots, beets, beans, potatoes, raspberries, beans, lettuce etc. you name it, the man grows it.

Growing up we all had our own little plots in the backyard. This was back when houses actually had yards. Truthfully, he did most of the work and we just claimed it as our own. One year, being the entrepreneur that I was, I raided his fields, loaded my wagon and went door-to-door peddling my (his) wares. I was quite please with the $9 I collected. He on the other hand was not. Overhead, start up costs and the like were completely foreign to me.

That is not to say he didn’t share what he grew. On the contrary, most of the neighbours were free to come and take what they needed as there was always too much of everything. Especially in a household with three children who were ‘allergic’ to just about every vegetable there is.

This year my inner farmer urged me to get back to my roots. I rented a garden allotment from the city and have started my own little garden. I got a late start but things are at least growing. Due to the influence to the Boyfriend, I have kept it organic and let me tell you that it is not without its challenges. My cabbages are giving me the most trouble. Well not the cabbages but rather the caterpillars that feed on their moist foliage.

Thanks to the wonders of Google however, they are now neatly tucked under tents of cheesecloth to let the sun and rain in and keep the pests out. One of the girls in the Dollhouse said her father just waits with scissors and cuts the little buggers in half. Good thought if your garden is out your back door and you have the time. I just don’t like cabbage THAT much.

I finally got my first tomato too! And so far that is the only thing on the radar that looks like I will be able to eat….hence the title of this entry. That is the cost of allotment rental. My squash and pumpkins though have had loads of flowers on them so I am expecting great things. For every new piece of produce, my overhead costs drop. $54 today, but tomorrow that tomato could only be worth $27. Good thing I don’t play the stock market, I just couldn’t stand to see the futures contract of my potatoes fall like that overnight.

Getting a little dirt under your nails is a great feeling and CJ can fix that with one of her signature manicures! There are a few allotments left, and while it is too late this year, I encourage everyone to check it out for next summer.


Blogger Blair said...

You have lots to write about - what's going on?

6:48 AM  

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