Forgettable injuries

….These are the everyday scrapes and bruises that tend to disappear from my memory as soon as they're healed.  For some reason, some of them linger, even after I can see no sign of them on my skin.  That fist scrape is completely invisible now.  Not even a scar.  The one still healing on my knuckle will fully fade in just a couple more weeks.  Like it never happened. 

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Pruning tomatoes

Pruning tomatoes

We finally pruned and trellised a bed of very overgrown bed of tomatoes in the greenhouse today.  Tomato pruning is one of my favorite farming projects: it takes some thinking and decision-making, you get to handle plants intimately, and the intoxicating resin leaves my hands black and my nose bizarrely satisfied.  

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Tomato scars

Tomato scars

I still feel like a mad scientist, and I'm still in awe of how the only evidence of being severed in half ends up a dainty scar, soon to be nearly invisible near the soil level.  I suppose tomatoes aren't the only organism that shows such resilience.  I wonder if, like an ache from a bone broken in childhood or the deep quaking of long-ago heartbreak, these tomatoes will remember the day I cut them in two and made them whole again.

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Racing spring rains

Racing spring rains

Lunch.  I rinse out a bowl from our kitchen supplies and start to wander.  Duck into the last greenhouse and cut a couple heads from a small patch of salad lettuce that still stands.  Pluck a few big spinach leaves from the neighboring bed, and slip back outside.  Turn the corner to the single bed of flowering arugula and mustards, smell the pungent aroma of arugula flowers as I stride past and snip off a few buds, mindfully and playfully.  A few semi-opened tat tsoi flower buds for yellow.  Across the roadway, I grab several red cabbage flower stalks and toss them on top.  Eat the rainbow, they say.  I walk back to eat at the picnic tables, grateful for sunshine and vibrant everything.

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How to graft tomatoes

How to graft tomatoes

I said last week that I would describe tomato grafting in more detail, and now's the time because I spent much of the day finishing our stock in the nursery.  Before I dive into the nuts and bolts, I should note that our success rate so far over the past two years has been closer to 65 than 100 percent.  That's not bad in my book, but it's something to keep in mind when you're buying rootstock seeds. ...I'm truly in awe of the fact that any of them live at all!  To be able to continue growing and producing (better than before!) after having half their bodies chopped off and recombined with a foreign replacement is miraculous to me.  Plants are just astounding.  

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