Saturday, July 14, 2007

Farm Wife

I mowed my alfalfa field today, I'm drying apricots, making plum jam, and I've put up two batches of pesto. I also fertilized the vegetable garden. It's only 11am, and I've also put in a contemplative hour on my knitting.

I feel like a veritable farm wife, but the fact of the matter is that I live in a very suburban home with a back yard that is about 120*40, and includes a pretty big patch of grass and two patios.

Now that I have your attention I have to admit that the alfalfa "field" is a 3*3 plot, and I "mowed" it with grass clippers. The hay and green alfalfa is the iguana's fare. Like most humans, he prefers prepared, corn-based food, in this case, commercial iguana chow, but the alfalfa is good for him, and much closer to his native diet, so we insist.

Everything else mentioned above is "life sized", although the apricots came from another family's garden. We'll be returning the favor with plum jam in a bit, along with blackberries, which are my husband's project. Our little yard contains five dwarf fruit trees which provide a bounty of fruit for us , the birds, and the neighbors who live on the other side of the wall. Also, at the moment, 15 tomato plants, 12 pepper plants, squash, cucumbers, and a bean tower. The beans are not doing too well, but everything else is thriving, along with sunflower plants which will feed the songbirds once the fruit season is over. It's all semi-organic; we use no pesticides and half doses of fertilizer; other nutrients are supplied by compost, which is my husband's major contribution to the family farm.

I know that some people consider food growing and preparation (not to mention composting) to be just the sort of torture that the industrial revolution was supposed to free us from, but I ask, "so what were you freed FOR?" And at what cost? Every plum we enjoy from our own tree saves the world the carbon cost of the 1500 miles the average grocery item travels to get to our table. And of course, the taste of a homegrown tomato is simply unavailable anywhere else.

So I don't make it to the gym much in the Summer. I get my exercise the old fashioned way, and my tan, and my sauna, too. I'm a farm wife.


Lizard Eater said...

Sounds wonderful! I think "Weight of the World" needs a post about "organic exercise." :)

Judy said...

There's just two things that money can't buy: true love and home-grown tomatoes!

I'm still harvesting a few (September 21) here in PA. They sure taste good in a roast beef and cheese sandwich, with a little fresh basil chopped over the top.

Our vegetable garden is huge and various -- and our problem is finding the time to put up the produce. Alas, so much goes to waste (though it's been an excellent year for jams).