GARDEN TASKS NO LONGER A CHORE

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Last week, my sister sent me a picture of a split cherry tomato labeled: first fruit from the garden.

I never know if I should eat the split ones.

But she ate it flaw and all.

A few days later, I received another picture. “Here’s another one.” The fruit in this picture was perfectly round, red and appetizing. She ate that tomato, too.

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I read on the internet that if cherry tomatoes are splitting, growers can pick the fruit before it is fully ripe and let the tomatoes ripen at home.

For now, I’m looking at plenty of yellow flowers on the Green Thumb tomato plants. We’re still a long way from coming home with the red vegetables. But we continue our chores.

The plants are full of promise. But it feels like forever since we planted them

We’ve delighted in their progress from seedling, to flowering, to tiny unripe vegetables. We’ve been weeding and raking and watering and checking for bugs, but mostly watching and waiting for the plants to produce.

The thrill of harvesting strawberries is over. Not much fruit can be found on those plants anymore. This was our third year of strawberries. We are trying to decide if we should pull them up and plant more next year, or let them be while knowing they might not produce as much fruit in the fourth year.

A few days ago, I went for the usual garden check. As I watered the radishes, the stream from my watering can washed away some of the dirt underneath the radish tops, and I saw a new splash of red. I gripped the green leaves and pulled to find my first vegetable of the garden – a huge radish. I was totally surprised. The root beside it needed picking, and the next one, too. When I left the garden, I had a harvest of 12 fresh radishes to eat and share. I was thrilled. I also found two ripe strawberries, a banana pepper and a yellow squash to pick.

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Going to the garden no longer feels like a chore now that the vegetables have started coming.

And our community garden neighbors are generous. Last night, my family feasted on a stir-fry made with a large zucchini left on our porch. The gift was from a fellow community gardener.

My son and I stopped by our garden plot last night just before dark. The rows were neatly raked, so we didn’t go in to explore. But from the side of the fence, I saw a few blueberries that looked blue enough to pick.

I’m eager to get to the garden today in hopes that I can taste one of those blueberries. Who knows what else I will find ready to harvest.

–cawk

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