How’d we get here? It all started in 2008, after I’ve just met this really cute guy who ends up being the Stubborn Boy (SB from here-on-out). We’re just getting to know each other and he basically insists that I read this amazing book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollen. Which I do read, which makes me so completely aghast at the industrial food system in America that I become completely horrified and decide it’s time to learn to garden. Bonus: Stubborn Boy has access to a garden, so I’m ~totally~ onboard with this guy. Hahaha.
That summer, I eat my first “Fresh Out Of The Garden Tomato”, and I just about lost my mind. It was ridiculously delicious. It was a pink tomato, the large kind and full of juice, and it smelled almost flowery. I put a sprinkle of salt on it, and that was that. Once I recovered from my pleasurable-food-induced coma, I started thinking: If a garden tomato can taste THAT good, what would a carrot taste like? Or a potato ? Or a cucumber?
And that was that. A man, a book and a tomato changed my life forever. Those first years, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I carried around gardening books and graph paper, drawing out perfect garden plans. I skipped going to the beach to play in the dirt and harvest pole beans. I ate ~hundreds~ of tomatoes with fresh basil, olive oil, flaky salt and fresh mozzerella cheese, and I dreamed of a day when my garden could be bigger than 60 square feet. Those first years, SB built a wooden structure over the raised garden bed, with 2x4s and a sheet of clear plastic to cover it, and it had a little pitched roof and it felt like I was sneaking away to my own little private chapel.
The year that we realized would be our last with that garden, I was deeply upset until SB said “Well, now we can go get our own place, and you can ~have~ your garden, as big as you want.”
“And bees,” I said.
“Sure, and bees,” he replied.
“And Ducks.” Me.
Me again, “And Goats. And a big oven to make bread. OOOH, and maybe an orchard, so we can start making our own cider…”
… (this is the crickets chirping as he looked at me like I was a lunatic…)
And that, my friends, is how it all started. Until next time,
1 thought on “A man, a book and a tomato changed my life.”
My wife and I passed your farm along the bike trail while riding the length of the Erie Canal. We were riding from Buffalo and we came across what looked like a large well tended garden. What struck me as unusual was the neatly row cover over some vegetables. As I ride on, I realized It was more than a garden and looked like a sustainable small-scale farm. I looked at Google maps and saw your farm name and realized I called it right!
My daughter started her own organic sustainably produced vegetables and is in her sixth year. She has a CSA (Dirt Rich Farm). She was also heavily influenced by Michael Pollen’s OD book, as were we. She also has ducks and goats. She and her fiancé have expanded significantly from her very humble begiinings.
I admire people like you that are willing to work so hard to put really healthy food on the table for a nation that so badly needs to eat healthier. It is an awesome lifestyle for those with the passion to live such a drea and willing to work very hard.