Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Farm Report: Growing For Volume

Back in April, I posted about maybe-possibly-perhaps growing food to donate to the food bank. I finally got around to hauling the first of it over today--a bunch of Armenian cucumbers, three or four gallon bags of snap beans, and a few stray tomatoes and summer squash.

The harvest so far hasn't been as plentiful as I imagined.  Not that I had a lot of crop failures. I just didn't plant a spring garden, and I forgot how long it takes for the summer garden to start bearing. Most of the tomatoes are still green. And I felt vaguely silly going over just to donate zucchini. I still can't quite believe that people really like zucchini. Zucchini feel like a prank. Even the name.

But there are a lot of those green tomatoes. Looming. Like The Birds. Hopefully there will be a bunch to donate soon. Just the dribs and drabs of two or three per plant gave me a couple of dozen to haul home.

The engineering part of my brain points out that if my primary goal were to help the food bank, I could instead spend the gardening hours working some overtime, and donate the money. I'm gardening for the fun and sanity; the mildly useful side effects are just mildly useful side effects.

But, hey, useful is better than not-useful, yes?

Having the goal of donation changes some of my gardening strategies. For example, last year I didn't much care about the distinction between the full-day versus half-day-sun parts of the garden, because even a halfhearted crop was enough for our kitchen. Now, I'm trying to go to some trouble to give the productive sun-lovers what they want. And I'm keeping an eye on the productivity difference between an indeterminate tomato given its own bed, versus four of them in one bed. And I'm debating the productive crops that we don't eat at all--like chard.

And so on.

All of which is fun--it gives me the excuse of pretending to be a small grower. The engineer keeps shouting, "Just write a check!" while the gardener enthuses, "I could grow a lettuce bed like in the pictures, and it wouldn't go to waste!"

I choose to assume that purity of motive is overrated.

That is all.


  1. Green Tomato Chutney is great, and the recipe in Mrs Beeton's book is very easy - it must be, because I made some - so I recommend it.
    cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

  2. Yo, Anna! Hmm; green tomato chutney sounds like a dandy idea. The majority of the tomatoes are still green; I'm not sure what that means.