HEAVY HARVEST

tote

When the summer began, I planned to walk to the garden and back each morning to get more exercise. Thirty minutes there, thirty minutes back — it was a fool-proof strategy. In addition to eating all of those garden vegetables that the Green Thumbs planted, the routine of walking everyday would help melt away the pounds and get myself in tip-top shape before fall.

Now that the summer is half-way over, I can sadly report that I’ve made the trek on foot only twice.

It’s not a bad walk. Sidewalks and a paved path provide a pleasant surface for most of the journey. The last few paces require a short distance of walking on mowed grass before the sidewalk reappears. Electronic signs help guide pedestrians across two major streets of traffic. Pine trees, crepe myrtles and other beautiful landscape grow along the winding walkway.

The first time I walked to the garden from home, I made the trek alone early in the growing season.

I carried a cloth bag packed with my cell phone, a pair of garden gloves, a bottle of water and two additional cloth bags in case any vegetables were ready to pick. I wasn’t sure how long the walk would be, but the weather was pleasant early in the morning. Other Green Thumbs were meeting me at the garden, so a ride home, if necessary, would be available.

Not many people passed me on the sidewalk. People on their way to work dominated the adjacent steady traffic. Overall, the walk was a positive experience. I returned home with a few vegetables in the bag strapped over my shoulder, a good feeling about getting my exercise for the day and a determination to make the journey a part of my daily routine.

But life got busy, and my trips to the garden continued by car until this past week. My son agreed to wake up early and walk with me to the garden. This time, the traffic seemed lighter, and the walk went by faster with our conversation. I was feeling pretty good.

We weeded two bucketsful of debris from the garden. We raked the rows. We plucked dead buds from the marigolds. We filled two bags with ripe tomatoes, eggplant, beans, onions, zucchini, squash and cucumbers.

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Then it was time to go. I picked up part of our harvest, but the bag of vegetables was too heavy for me to carry. My son transferred some of the vegetables into a day pack to carry on his back, and he lugged the other bag of picked-vegetables home for our entire walk.

When we got home, he weighed the harvest using our bathroom scale. The bags together weighed 25 pounds.

Next time, I think we need to bring a wagon.

–cawk

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