First Salad With Tomatoes This Year


Jesus, I missed tomatoes. I know Leila already had some red tomatoes like a month ago, but I had not harvested a tomato until tonight. And I've been eating tons of tomato-free salad all summer.

I'm in the midst of a 35-week farming internship at Peaceful Belly, an organic farm in Boise that offers farm shares to people in the CSA model. This year they decided to try something new: rather than grow, harvest and deliver, they'd let an exclusive dozen people, push dirt, plant seeds, take care of them and then harvest and eat whatever they're able to.

So tonight's haul finally included some very sweet slicing tomatoes. Unfortunately I did not get the variety, but a tomato really makes a salad.

Here's what our group pulled off the garden tonight: salad greens, head lettuce, potatoes, carrots, lots and lots of cucumbers (Armenian, regular, lemon), corn!, two kinds of green beans, a bag of beets, flowers, green onions, squash and zucchini, peppers and a few eggplants. I may be missing something.

My salad-meal tonight included a boiled potato, some left over summer sausage and crumbs from a bag of those sweet potato stick chips. But the tomatoes were really a standout.

I've been thinking about writing more about my farming class, but there has been so much cultural information to process I am overwhelmed with it. For example, last week we learned that each individual tassle on an ear of corn is connected to an individual kernel and serves as a pollen funnel. I have been obsessed with that idea for two weeks now. I can't stop thinking about it.

So I'll try to come up with a way of describing the power of growing this much food. But in the meantime, peep my salad.