Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Just my luck

The cherry tomato crop has been abundant and wonderful.  It has inspired me to plant much more of them next year.  And these little orange ones called Sungold tomatoes are so sweet.  They are absolutely heavenly.  I could sell a million of them easily. (With some free samples to hook the customer).

I started fantasizing about planting rows and rows of tomatoes next year and making tomato sauce with it.  We make a fabulous tomato sauce.  We don't even buy tomato sauce for our spaghetti.  We make it with plain tomato sauce- or even paste and water, a pinch of salt and sugar and a secret ingredient*, ground beef, also browned with salt, sugar and secret ingredient... mmmmm.  Imagine if I used fresh basil from my farm too? It would be to-die-for.  I saw canning jars at the store and it got me excited. 

In the mean time, we have three overflowing trays of cherry tomatoes on our kitchen table.  I've been eating them for breakfast and snacks.  Just constantly.  I even bring bowls of them with me in the car.  Here is where the title of this blog post will start to make sense.  You are not going to believe this... I think I am allergic to tomatoes.  I mean, really???  Could I have worse luck???  My face is breaking out like crazy.  Why, oh why, couldn't I just go into anaphylactic shock like normal people?  Why do I have to look like I'm going through puberty again?  I am also allergic to corn which does the same thing to me, but I've been avoiding corn- more specifically corn syrup.  I had a (new) McDonald berry-smoothie, which I thought could be the cause, but I looked at the ingredients online and there is no corn-syrup.  There is only one explanation.  (I mean, I know I'm not pregnant.  That would be the other explanation). 

Why did I have to come to this realization at this moment in time?  When my tomatoes were the saving grace of my farm?

Well, on the bright side, I may never have figured out this allergy if it weren't for this scenario.  Eating tomatoes 24/7?  That would never have happened were it not for my farm. 


*OK, I'll fess up.  The secret ingredient is MSG.  I can see the horror on the faces of my crunchy readers.  But I've researched it a bit and just can't see the proof that it's harmful unless you have a personal reaction to it.  My husband's family cooks with it and it really does make everything taste better.  And, anecdotally, the people of their culture are incredibly healthy.
Sun gold tomatoes

Budget

Well, It's becoming quite obvious that this year will end in major deficit.  My peppers are kind of small.  My beets are my only sale to the CSA so far.  My watermelon and cantaloupe were utter failures.  There are two inch high cantaloupe seedlings as of mid July.  I might get a pumpkin out of the deal, which we will totally enjoy carving.    I do not see this deficit as failure however because: a) Between the classes and mentoring, I am getting an education far more valuable than the money it is costing me.  b) my kids are getting the fresh air, sunshine and exercise that I am always nagging them to get.   c) the carrots and tomatoes have been plentiful and delicious. Enjoyable and a slight savings in grocery bills. d) there is the difficult to measure cost-benefit of all the other expensive activities I didn't have to take the kids to, to get them out of the house, like parking at the ocean, museums entrance fees, or what-have-you.

I was at the farmers market the other day, as a customer, and the other farmer's crops were intimidatingly plentiful.  They had pretty baskets and displays.  I'll need to buy some pretty baskets next year if I sell.  I have the tent and table though, which is a start.

I have quite a few cherry tomatoes which I'm thinking of packaging in environmentally harmful Styrofoam trays and selling for $2, because we won't be able to eat them all.  That might make my total profit this year $150, as compared to my expenses of well over $1000.  Yeah, the government subsidy of small farmers is making more sense to me at this moment.  Not that small farmers should be as inexperienced and incompetent as me, but it's quite obvious how small the profit margins are in this industry and we need to support our local organic farmers, both for the health benefits they provide to the community and to lower our dependence of foreign oil.