Sunday, May 11, 2014

WIND WITHOUT END

Farming is full of challenges. The path between an idea and a final product travels many an unwanted byway before arriving on someone's table as a "farm to fork" treat. Two days ago we were finishing up planting the first succession of tomatoes, a group of 560 organic heirlooms, about 30 different varietals. Today they are in, and like the sunflowers at left, are being ceaselessly whipped by a north wind. All day yesterday the wind blew steadily at between 15 and 20 mph. Today the forecast is for more of the same, a precursor to an onslaught of hot spring days which may well bring the first triple digit temperatures to my little spot of land, where it seems the highs exceed those of nearby Sacramento by a few degrees. For my young plants, it will be trial by fire. And as if wind and heat are not enough of a challenge, yesterday I stared eyeball-to-eyeball with a gopher as I stood above his little hole on the edge of the tomato patch.  He scurried off, returned for a second look, then disappeared into his subterranean labyrinth. So when you grab that organic heirloom tomato off a table at a farmers market, think about the trials it went through to offer itself to you. I guarantee it will taste a little better!

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