Friday, September 6, 2013

The Garden Thief Becomes a Farmer

Here is something I wrote for the latest Wisconsin Home Harvest CSA newsletter.  

The Garden Thief Becomes a Farmer by Kim Guare
I never knew much about growing food.  When I was 7, my friend Elizabeth had a magical vegetable garden in her backyard.  Sometimes I would ride my bike up and down the alley past Elizabeth’s garden and often stop to see inside.  This time there were plump, bright green things clinging to her fence.  I didn’t know it then, but they were sugar snap peas.  I took a look around to make sure no one was watching.  I quickly plucked one off and took a bite.  It was sweet and delicious and when I opened up the pod I was surprised to see tiny green peas inside.  I wanted to share this green candy with my Mom.  It didn’t go as I planned and she quickly put an end to my stealing food from Elizabeth’s garden.
About 5 years later my mom planted tomatoes in the backyard so she could make large batches of homemade pasta sauce to freeze for the winter.  I would help her skin the tomatoes by dropping them in boiling water for 30 seconds then plopping them in ice water so the skin would come off easy.  I especially enjoyed this job because it was messy.  She’d throw onions, garlic, bay leaves, basil, oregano, tomato paste, merlot wine, brown sugar and the tomatoes in a gigantic pot and let the ingredients simmer for three hours.  The house would fill with warmth, steam and the smell of homemade sauce.  When Mom wasn’t looking I’d grab a spoon and taste the sweet thick goodness.
Fast forward and I’m 24 years old now farming at the Wormfarm.  My few experiences with gardening as a child left me wanting more.  I planted the seeds this past spring and watched them slowly grow into nutritious vegetables.  When they were fully grown I helped harvest them for the Wisconsin Home Harvest CSA.  In June I ate as many sugar snap peas as I wanted till I couldn’t stand to eat anymore.  And a few days ago I filled our kitchen with the delicious smell of a triple batch of tomato sauce.  For me there is nothing better than spending my day working hard on an organic farm and filling my belly with its’ bounty.

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