First fruit


It seems that I am the lucky receiver of the first ripe tomato from Mouse’s Garden because this tomato was on my counter when I got home from Houghton Lake yesterday. A chili pepper too! Big ripe local tomatoes have been available for a while at the farmer’s market but a lot of those folks are using hoop houses and things to get an early start.

Last year, tomatoes were a bust in our yard and many others. It wasn’t Mouse’s fault. A virus was going around. A lot of home gardeners lost their tomatoes, including Farmer John, who brings produce from his hobby farm into work to sell in the lunchroom. Most years, he has tomatoes up the wazoo all the way into mid-September. Last year he was bringing in bushel baskets of them as usual, then stopped abruptly. No more tomatoes. I could still get them at the farmer’s market but I missed the convenience of buying them at work. Rumor has it that the excess rain we’ve had this year may have hurt some of his crops this year. Which ones and how badly, I do not know. He had broccoli today and I bought some 🐸

I do have higher hopes for Mouse’s tomatoes this year. I dunno. Maybe Mouse shouldda been born into a farmer’s family. My Detroit-area great-grandparents were farmers and The Commander grew up on their farm so she knew a bit about gardening but I don’t remember her ever doing anything extensive. My old coot’s side of the family, I’m not sure about. I remember Grandma had a cartload of African Violets in her dining room and I think there were various flowers outside. I don’t remember her growing veggies.

I do remember my old coot telling me many times about walking out to his uncle Alec’s farm near Dafter to help out. Once I think he said something like, “The cow is the dumbest aminal on earth!” I took that in hook, line, and sinker when I was a child but I’m not really sure it’s true. And I am *not* totally sure that he and his brother were forced to walk that distance (10 miles or so as the crow flies) but I could be wrong. I know they all walked a lot and roads and automotive vee-hickles were a lot different then but all the way out to Dafter? I dunno. I can only guess that my grandfather experienced some hard times and wanted his children to know life’s hardships.

Here are the “farm boys”. The little blond guy on the right is my old coot. He had black hair by the time I first encountered him. His big brother is on the right. I have to guess this was out at uncle Alec’s farm but I don’t really know. My own brother, The Engineer, scanned this photo long ago and named it farmboys.jpg. My Old Coot definitely did not become a gardener. He always relied on someone else to supply his food. His big brother had a huge garden after he retired from his medical practice and we used to take our compost over there, once including an old dead cucumber and green pepper from one of the Houghton Lake refrigimatators. Good times. [Moom, change the talk.]


G’night. Alas, I am not making kale tacos tonight. Maybe sometime soon!

2 Responses to “First fruit”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Food is so tricky to grow because of the variables we can’t control like weather and disease, I only try for tomatoes; Patt grew up on a farm and could grow most things, but for him it was a time and space issue. Some years I’m fighting to get the tomatoes before the first freeze; other summers (like this one) I’m already getting ripe ones! Keeping them watered is a full-time job.

  2. Pooh Says:

    Bubs says that her father, (our grandfather), was the gardener at 1001 John Street and he did grow vegetables. She thinks that Don and Jack probably rode their bikes out to the farm. Not when they were as young as in the picture, I’m sure.