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.