Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Tomato Nostalgia

Summer of 1979
We arrived on the family farm on Crandall Hill on a hot April day in 1976,  our "Living The Good Life" dreams of making our way as homesteaders packed into a U-Haul truck, taking us from the busy Lehigh Valley back to our mutual roots in north central Pennsylvania.
Key to the back-to-the-land dream was growing a big garden. In the metropolitan area near Allentown, we had claimed a community garden space with high voltage electrical lines arching overhead. The weeds soon overtook our first efforts at growing our own as we couldn't find the time to adequately tend our little shared space. But our move back to the gardens Arthur fondly remembered  from his childhood offered a new start and we planted our first garden that spring.
I don't remember much about those first gardens. Instead, my memories take me back to sunny summer afternoons in the tomato patch while my toddler daughter took her afternoon nap in the nearby house.  Always a creature of habit, the little girl welcomed her afternoon respite, and so did I. It was the summer I canned more than 100 quarts of our own tomatoes.
Coming across this photo on a cold winter day in 2019 transported me back to that halcyon summer, setting my standard of tomato success.
It's time to start the seeds that will become the tomatoes of 2019. For the past several years, I have offered USDA Certified Organic tomato and pepper plants for sale. This year I will grow vegetable starts only if customers make arrangements with me in advance. And that means you will need to get in touch with me (email: metzgerfarm@gmail.com) before March 20 to place your order. We can work together to select varieties and plan for the best time for you to take custody of your plants when the danger of frost has passed in your garden patch. We'll both be disappointed if you wait until May to begin looking for organic plant starts.

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