When I began gardening many years ago it was just something I thought my young sons and I would enjoy doing together. It was about the process, digging in the dirt and weeding and watching something grow. As the years went by, working in the garden was something I could do to pass the time while the kids were playing in the yard or in the pool. I was able to keep a watchful eye without hovering.
I don't remember many details about those early days in the garden. I'm not sure how much we really harvested but I can vividly recall the wonder and excitement in watching a tiny seed or small plant become food for my family. The experience fascinated me. Each Spring, the garden grew both in size and in numbers of plants for no other reason than that I enjoyed the act of gardening.
As my fascination with heirloom tomatoes grew I found myself attending classes and reading about things like healthy soil, organic fertilizers and worm tea and researching tomato varieties – their distinct characteristics and habits in growth. Without purpose or intent, a farmer I became.
It is still the process that drives me to spend countless hours in the vegetable garden. But, it is the product that grows from passion for the quality of flavor, color and texture and the knowledge that I know exactly what I am feeding my family that is the real reward.