I picked nearly a dozen tomatoes from the garden this last week. I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw this meme, though. Yes, it is an undertaking that can take so much time: watering, weeding, the potential for pests, and the possibility that for reasons beyond your control, it just may not be a good year for tomatoes. This year was different, too. I planted a garden for the first time in my life that was not in the desert southwest. I barely had to water them at all for the steady, almost predictable amount of rainfall. I harvested earlier than ever before, too. The weather in my new home presented problems I’ve never actually dealt with having lived in a desert my whole life.
But there is something rewarding about touching and working the earth in the places I’ve lived. Seeing what grows well, and how my garden grows. The very process is worth the work to me. While my first garden in this climate was more an effort of trial and error, I envision that my future gardens will grow and thrive with the knowledge I gather. I’ll work my little plot of earth, shaping my backyard in such a way that it becomes a work of art in its own way. Right now, it’s a great blank canvas of green, but I’ll expand it.
As for tomatoes, I know that I’ll try again in the years to come. I’ll harvest seeds in a sentimental way, and I’ll grow generations of plants from my summer tomatoes of 2018. Perhaps I saved myself a little money from growing my own this year, but I know that’s not why I do it. It’s for the rewarding process of having the dream and then executing its success. An exercise in planting a seed and then watching it grow. The flavor of the fruit of your own labors is incomparable.