Carol Ann Sayle
Tomato season arrived on the farm a month ago. We harvest them at first blush and put them up to ripen in our cool, dry guest bedroom, but breakfast is not included. Twice a week, rested and fully ripe, they are booted out to the farmstand tables, but with each day's harvest, more of their relatives move in. The visitations will continue almost to the end of July, and then tomatoes head up north, I suppose, for a change of scenery.
The customers at our market are enchanted by them, but inevitably, at the peak of the harvest, there are always too many beautiful tomatoes to sell, and too many cosmetically imperfect ones we deign not to sell. And you know they can't go back to the bedroom. That holiday is over.
In May, there were too many squash and cucumbers. At our country farm in Gause, Texas, at the one-week high point, Larry was forced to dump tractor buckets full of Asian and English cucumbers into the compost pile. Of course he made some pickles, and he fed the chickens as many as they could eat, and cucumbers do make a great addition to a compost pile with their pure moisture, but there is always angst when we can't readily sell everything we produce. A one-week supply of cucumbers is not enough to take them to Whole Foods Market's flagship store in downtown Austin.