Today was our pick up day for the CSA. Besides the already harvested veggies (and a honeydew melon) in the barn, we were able to harvest for ourselves all the green beans and tomatillos and cherry tomatos we can eat in a week. Well. We were in the field for an hour. Mo and I picked green beans for a while and then she cut some flowers while I dove into the tomato jungle.
Here are some things I thought about or noticed while I was shoulder high in tomato plants. Or shortly thereafter. In no particular order. Except the last one, because it's the big thought.
Tomato plants are prickly and they have a rather appealing unpleasant smell. I don't mind.
My tomato picking jungle neighbors seem to be surprised when I talk to them. I am an introvert, but being out in the dirt and tall prickly plants makes me daring and chatty. Perhaps it has something to do with my teenage detasseling days. Why not have fun? We're all hot and sweaty and dirty. I want to drown out the bees and mosquitoes and celebrate Jackpot! with someone other than myself.
Hey, if you come straight from work, you may want to put a change of shoes in your car. High heels don't work on the farm. I didn't say that out loud, honest. It was one of my nasty judgey thoughts. It's not a short trek to the field and I sure couldn't have walked it in those shoes. And then I saw the mom with the blue shiny dress shirt crouching down to pick green beans and her little maybe four year old girl at the end of the row was all, mommy I'm waiting right here at the end! Ayyy, the time is short mommy. Pick the green beans in your work clothes, I say. Not out loud. And no longer judgey-like.
And this. Ripe cherry tomatoes fall into the harvester's hands. They do. They beg for release and the vine waits for just the slightest bit of pressure as a signal to let go. A nudge really. A swipe. The barest touch. Then release into the harvester's palm. Release and fall. Today I saw so many unharvested tomatoes. When they sit on the vine too long, they burst. They begin to rot on the vine. What looks like Jackpot! is not. It's messy. Disappointing. Waste.
I choose release.