Sunday, July 13, 2008

On Home-Grown Tomatoes, or the Virtues of Middlemen

I mentioned yesterday our first tomatoes have ripened. Yes, they're tasty, much more so than the store's tomatoes. But, some thoughts:
  • One of the problems of growing a garden is feast and famine, you have too many or too few. The first few tomatoes of the year are enjoyable, but we always plant more than we really need, so they can become a burden. (The same goes for zucchini, though more so, at least until the squash beetle lays its eggs.) Or, as my gardening neighbor, a lady from Vietnam was complaining, the chipmunks ate all her beets.
  • Because we like regular habits, one way to even out the highs and lows is to draw from multiple sources and multiple areas. (Our peas are long gone, while my cousin in MA just started harvesting hers around the Fourth.) But to do so, requires some overhead--negotiations with farmers, etc. And I don't like to negotiate, nor am I good at it. So leave that stuff for the stores, and accept the idea of less tasty tomatoes as a trade-off.
  • I read, probably in the Times or Post, someone whose experience with community-supported-agriculture fits the above. She commented on getting a lot of kale, when kale was in season, with the comment phrased to say, I really got more than I really wanted. Then her CSA went out of business, and she was too lazy or too busy to link up with another.
Middlemen, like Arthur Miller's salesman, deserve a bit more respect than they get.

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