Saturday, March 19, 2016

Harvest at the Urban Homestead

We have spent the week eating tomatoes from our garden--welcome to the topsy-turvy South Florida growing season.  That sentence makes it sound like we have a lush space with a brimming crop of tomatoes.

Not so.  We pick one here and one there from a tangle of vines that are quickly dying.  One pot with a spindly vine gave us one tomato, but that was one more than we were expecting.  We have about 5 pots in the back that some sort of pest ate to stalks, and I procrastinated in pulling them up--lo and behold, they came back and gave us a few tomatoes.

But the true surprise is the plant in the front flower box that's attached to the house.  I had some portable flower boxes that I wanted to empty out to use for herbs.  I transplanted the flowers to the permanent front box, and I also transplanted the tomato seedling that was sprouting.  I didn't expect it to do as well as it has.

It would probably do better if I paid more attention to it.  Sigh.  I try not to see its browning leaves as recrimination.  It's part of the life cycle.

I think of the dreams I had in my younger years, dreams of a homestead, dreams of being self-sufficient and growing my own food.  We likely would have starved.

Of course, if homesteading was my only job, I could pay more attention to it.

My spouse does a better job with consistent watering in the back. And those plants aren't in better shape.  So maybe it's not me.

We have a harsh climate here, although you might think otherwise, with our lack of freezing temperatures.  But much of the year, the sun shines from a harsh angle, frying delicate plants.  And many vegetables need cooler nights to grow their offspring.

I've gotten a poem out of this year's harvest time.  I read Luisa A. Igloria's poem on the Via Negativa site, and thought about my own experience with seeds.  And then I wrote one of my own.

Go here to read it.

No comments: