I live on a farm, you know, and during these summer days I try exceptionally hard to insure that I stay on the cutting edge of modern day farming techniques. I read widely (well, what I can find on the internet without too much trouble) with the intent of sharpening my farmer skills so that my crops will be abundant, beautiful, tasty, and without tooth marks from the many critters with whom I share my space in these beautiful San Bernardino Mountains.
(A little aside here. Did you know the Defense Department has just granted more than 3 million dollars to buy land to protect pocket gophers? while at the same time thousands of employees have been laid off because there’s not enough money to go around. What? Say again?)
Anyway, while we’re on the subject of gophers you need to know we have plenty of the little fellas around here and if someone wants to protect them, just come over and I’ll give you free run of my land to catch as many as you can, and you may take them as pets. They eat things; prowl about under the dirt, chomping on vegetable and flower roots, drilling holes in the earth, then popping up for an open air feast. One evening last week they dined on my beautiful okra plants which are planted in pots, and which I had carefully nurtured, and which are now encased in fine screen against the onslaught of hungry gophers and ravenous ground squirrels.
Tomatoes are my stars this year. I have three plants; cherry, Better Boy, and Early Girl. They have grown so fast and so tall that the cages and stakes I had provided became woefully inadequate, so a couple of mornings have seen Jerry and me out in the wide tomato field with string, clothespins, and finally with a pvc contraption with which to support these glorious specimens that are taller than I am.
Some farmers speak of their land in terms of acres. I’m a little different, so I just go about speaking of mine in terms of pots. In case you’re at all interested, I have: three tomato plants, one yellow squash, one zucchini squash, one jalapeno (which I bought at the 99 cent store and which now is showing a great blossom) and four okra plants. The okra was an afterthought–saw four little shoots in a square container at Lowes, so brought them home and put two each in a couple of pots. One pot is the wooden barrel of an ice cream freezer which Ken and Nancy were getting rid of it. Cute as can be. One day I’ll show you a picture.
Before breakfast, by hand, I had watered my entire farm, crooned to the injured okra plants, which are so brave and strong, that they have already shot up new leaves, wondered why I see no little squashes, only beautiful yellow blossoms, and eyed a couple of red beauties which I will pick just before dinner, which I will slice, salt and pepper and serve along with the grilled pork chops I have in mind.
I quite like this farming part of my life . . . and earlier today had this thought concerning expansion: A goat or two! Wonder how Jerry would like it if I ordered in one little billy goat…hmm……or should it be a nanny?. . . milk and all, you know. Goat cheese.