Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gray Skies Had Better Clear Up

Today I heard that a local farmer who services CSAs and attends several farmers markets nearby (but not mine) was unhappy about our recent, dark weather. It's not tomato weather, he said in so many words.
Now, I've been moaning for weeks about the absence of tomato weather in my backyard, where my contribution to the economy is zero and my dependence on crops to make a living is also zero.
Suddenly I feel puny. Like a selfish suburban whiner who wants to garden, but Mother Nature has other plans. Whaah, whaah.
How do you think this farmer feels? Probably a little bit panicked. Disappointed like me, sure, but more kinda worried.
For the three past summers, the growing season has been late, and it's really getting to me. I'm losing my mojo and putting in fewer and fewer plants. It's discouraging. Sometimes I hardly want to go outdoors and pull weeds, because it's rainy and miserable.
(Please refrain from preaching about tornado victims here, thank you.)
Well, that farmer does not get to go all delicate on us, no matter what is coming down from the sky. Cats, dogs, locusts, rain, meatballs. He's got a financial commitment to the earth, and he must soldier on. Farmer on, whatever.
Weather or not, though, I am still a tomato ranchin' bum, and there are always a lot of 'maters out there, if I have to pick them green and roast them in November.
Even so (and allow me one last sniffle), it's hard to put on a happy face. Let me try.
I raise a toast to the whiners and the farmers. Spread sunshine all over the place!

26 comments:

Zoomie said...

I'm with you - whining to beat the band. I know we are spoiled and selfish Californians. Yeah, so what?

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

I definitely raise a toast to the farmers. It is a challenging career. Mother Nature is a tough business partner.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: Have some decorum! Peter will laugh at us.
(You know he's in CA now? Coming to Marin, but he's not talking to me.)

Denise: I bought some zukes once, early in the season because my plants weren't ready. I joked to the farmer how funny it was to BUY zucchini. "Not funny to me," he said. Oh. Right. High five, still friends?

cookiecrumb said...

PROSECUTE JOHN EDWARDS, THEN WE'LL GET TO THE RETHUGS

Greg said...

Farming has got to be a hard way to earn a buck.Cheers to them! May the force be with you.Oh there I go quoting Star Wars.

cookiecrumb said...

Greg: Don't worry about it. I've been quoting Bye-Bye Birdie (did anyone notice?).

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

But is is funny to BUY zucchini after one GROWS the wild sprawling veg. I totally get it.

Little Pots & Pans Co. said...

It's not just CA, us up here in OR have the same issue! And not to complain (but I will) am I tired of Kale. Our asparagus crops got hosed so unless I wanted to pony up at our nearby WF, we've struck out on our first spring veggies. Nary a peapod to be seen either. Some of our farmers have started dropping farmers markets b/c they simply do not have enough to sell. C'mon weird weather global warming, how 'bout some sun... mmmkay?

Zoomie said...

I guess he's not talking to me, either, as I didn't know he was coming to CA, much less Marin. I'm hurt.

Zoomie said...

How did you know he was coming to CA if he's not talking to you?

cookiecrumb said...

Denise: He looked a little miffed, but I bet he understood my ill-timed humor.

Little Pots: I just read that the tornados are not a symptom of global warming. But whatever's happening here on the coast? Bush's fault!

Zoomie: You have better things to worry about. I guess you haven't figured him out. (I learned he was coming from Qwitter, which must remained unnamed. Stalkers, you know.)

Zoomie said...

I'd have liked to meet him. Artists are always a little nutty but I've always been attracted to nuttiness. Oh, well, his loss.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: On the odd chance that he reads this, perhaps he'll seek you out. :)

Kate said...

I felt similarly two years ago when the dreaded blight wiped out my tomato crop and abbreviated the potato season. I whinged too, but likewise felt a bit sheepish about it, compared to local farmers watching the season go up in smoke, or, ehrm, more accurately, down in fungus.

cookiecrumb said...

Kate: Yeah, I remember that tomato blight, and I felt bad for home growers and pros alike (it didn't strike on the west coast).
Didn't it used to be easier? Happy growing this year.

meathenge said...

That's what I hear, but I put in my 'maters and other goodies anyway. The indiscriminate tomato plants are going BONKERS, especially the heirloom one. I've already harvested a huge batch of fresh basil, Italian basil, a load of red onions ... and a few other things I can't remember. These aren't this weeks shots, plants are even bigger and darker.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7295452@N03/sets/72157626663865853/

xo, Biggles

meg said...

It's already 90-plus degrees here (TN). I can't help but wish for slightly more temperate weather even though I know the tomatoes will flourish.

namastenancy said...

Farmers are awesome and I am sorry if the inclement weather has given them grief. But if the garden only gives you green tomatoes, then make fried green tomatoes, green tomato relish or - better yet - green tomato pie.

kudzu said...

I wasn't going to, especially this year, but when I saw the fresh new plants....nurseries get deliveries on Thursday in Marin....I couldn't resist. I must be an incurable optimist. We shall see what happens. I'm sho nuff no farmer, but I crave to raise a few vegetables with my herbs.

cookiecrumb said...

Meathenge: Awesome garden. It's nice to know that you can just bluster ahead, and get a crop. Your raised beds look so... So... Pottery Barn! Want.

Meg: I'll just go ahead and say lucky you. That's a blast furnace, but you knew that going in. Best of luck.

Nancy: We got a few tricks up our sleeves. Also, we actually do expect some ripe ones, maybe in August.

Kudzu: What did you get? I didn't know you had room for vegetables. So excited for you! (Sometimes you make me feel I should call you Miss Kudzu, ma'am.)

Ms Brown Mouse said...

Plant 'em, they'll grow, it may take longer for them to ripen but it will happen.
Poor farmers, who'd be one eh?

cookiecrumb said...

Mouse: They're looking a little spindly. But, yes. Have hope, eh?
Oh, I'd never be a pro farmer. Or a restaurant owner. Or a sailboat racer.

kudzu said...

I got organic plants of tomatoes (two Romas and one striped marvel) and seeds for scarlet runner beans which I may put in my front yard against the white house wall. Lemon verbena. Dill, nasturtiums, and a new start of English thyme. I could actually have a really large garden if I wanted to take out lawn...but I am only one singleton and can't justify growing surpluses.

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: That sounds fantastic. (Is your front yard accessible to deer? They'll eat anything.)
I'd be a subscriber to a Kudzu CSA if you want to overplant. :)

kudzu said...

May sound fantastic, but not as adventurous as I was in my (heh) salad days. It's not only the size of harvest that discourages bigger planting, it's water use ($$$) and my creakiness. In the almost-five years I've lived here I've seen deer only twice, evidence once. We'll see what happens. The only thing they ate last time around was some rampant oxalis by the driveway, nothing ornamental. (Doesn't "rampant oxalis" sound like something from Gorey?)

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: If only all the deer ate all the oxalis rampant! I've noticed they don't touch the artichokes in my front yard, if you're searching for a pretty crop.
But, yes, it all needs water. Is there Medicare for water?