Motivation and Giant Carrots

Saturday morning was one of those idyllic mornings at the farmer’s market. The weather was beautiful, the birds were singing, the parking lot was packed. Most of my favorite farmers and producers were there and even a couple of new ones. I found out that one of my favorite vendors reads this blog. I got a great deal on a bag of bruised and over-ripe tomatoes, which are currently being turned into marinara sauce. I even snagged the last bunch of beets, which never happens. (I always miss the beets.)

What’s in the Basket: swiss chard, green onions, beets, red russian kale, leeks, parsley, 2 bunches of giant mutant carrots, Parson Brown oranges, pink grapefruit, over-ripe tomatoes, good slicing tomatoes, aged gouda cheese, fresh chevre, and a loaf of rosemary bread

The hit of the day were the mutant carrots. Carrots don’t grow well in this area, something about the mineral content in the soil, but one farmer had several bunches of these crazy carrots that were huge. They were weird and squat rather than long and narrow. They were positively artistic. We had to buy two bunches out of sheer curiosity. We asked the farmer about the carrots and he said they were Danvers Half Longs, “but I don’t know what happened”. He seemed disappointed but I can’t think of these carrots as anything but a huge success. This is a lot of food, probably good food. It may not be pretty, but it’s food and he grew it with his own hands.

Gardening for me has been one failure after another, lots of trials and mostly errors. I believe in growing my own food. This is a skill I need to have but it is not coming easily. Gardening for me has been a whole lot of work with not much reward. I was feeling frustrated and thinking about taking a break and not planting any spring vegetables, if not giving up entirely. I don’t know why, but these carrots helped motivate me somehow.

The garden doesn’t have to be perfect to be worthwhile. Just like these carrots.

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