Saturday, May 26, 2012

Connecting with my parents through the garden

Last weekend, I woke up feeling antsy, so I went to the Rochester Public Market. I love it there. Lots of vendors supply the city with fresh produce and goods. Right now it is also Flower Days, which means excellent deals on flowers and vegetables. Trying to find a parking place is a serious problem, though, and frustrates me to no end. I was ecstatic to finally find one right inside the market next to one of the coffee shops. It made it easier to spend way too much money.

I was on a mission to find someone who sold a variety of tomatoes. Last year, I remember seeing a group that had all kinds of varieties I had never seen before. I am a huge fan of the "nibbler" varieties that you can just pick right off of the plant and pop into your mouth. I have been known to have a full tomato lunch while sitting out in my yard. I do also like other varieties and want to try more. To my delight, there was a woman known as "The Tomato Lady" who easily had 50-60 different varieties. I started gathering every "nibbler" I could. She gave me a great deal since I was buying so many kinds. I ended up with 21 plants (all different, mind you) for $32. And the plants were beautiful. I picked up a few more from a couple of other vendors and then a couple more at the nursery after. Grand total of tomatoes to be potted: 34 - all different varieties.

I kept wandering around, looking for some good annuals. The nursery/farm market I go to has excellent prices on their flats. Unfortunately, most of the vendors at the Public Market were higher. I had passed someone who had flats for $13 apiece while I was collecting my tomatoes, but couldn't find that person again. I did eventually find someone who was selling flats at 2 for $25. I relieved him of his last two flats of lobelia. Those are one of my absolute favorites. Once those were loaded in my car, I headed to the farm market and spent more money on lots more flowers and veggies.

I spent the next 8 hours or so, sweating away in my yard. I cleaned out a couple of the beds and planted a whopping half-flat of annuals. I got all of the tomatoes potted, though!

Working on the tomatoes made me really miss my mom. She grew up on a farm and one of their major crops was tomatoes. It was tempting to try to call her and see if she would be able to talk to me about it. But the last time I tried, she could barely get out more than five words at once.

I also spent a lot of time working on the big bed on the side of the house. My father helped me put that together after I had dug it all up. I had reinjured an old break in my ankle the week before their visit, so I spent a lot of time scooting on my butt to place the rocks and plants. I exhausted myself shopping while hobbling on crutches. But we did it all together. I can feel him in the flowers when I am out there.

I still have so much work to be done. Unfortunately, this weekend I have been plagued with the stomach bug AGAIN from the little darlings at school. I hope to get out there in another day or two when I am feeling better!

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