Starting Summer in January

Sunday, despite my horrible cold, I dragged myself to the monthly COFEA swap. Along with my cough and buckets of snot, this is what I brought.

Lemon Verbena

Mixed Mild Mustard Greens

Salad Burnet

Redbor and Lacinato Kale

Oriole and Five Color Silverbeet Chard


Here is a handful of the many goodies I brought back.


I'm mostly following the wintersowing method this year, starting my solanaceae family in makeshift greenhouses, but the eggplants and peppers are also on heat mats on the patio just until they sprout. Then they'll go out and face the elements to join the tomatoes, hopefully growing into some fecund buggers. The winners in the race to sprout are Linnie's Oxheart, Guernsey Island Pink Blush, and Not Wes.

Not only am I dreaming of a head-cold-less life in which I can once again regain all of my five senses, I'm beginning to dream of summer tomatoes. I imagine how they'll feel, still sun warmed and heavy, in my hands as I harvest. Though my nose is on the fritz, I can almost smell the sharp green scent of tomato plants, staining my skin as I brush against them in the summer garden. I can see many colored tight tomato skins filling the produce drawers in my kitchen. And the salsa, the bruschetta, the salads, the soups, all of it I can almost taste.

Oh tomato, it is you, you irresistable seductress, that turns so many a food lover into a gardener. Our stories may not be original, but they're no less true. And now, through the winter, I'm enjoying and sharing the citrus and greens, but a whole chunk of me is just biding my time.

Tomato, I'm waiting for you.


Linda Dove said…
Oh, no! I forgot about COFEA.


There can never be enough tomatoes for me. Never.
Michelle said…
Oh what a difference a couple hundred miles makes! My poor lemon verbena is just dormant sticks and the kale is wind and hail battered (although I think you got the worst of the last series of storms).

The COFEA swap meet is a fantastic idea, it looks like you brought home some nice goodies.

Love the shot of the hawk. They never sit still long enough for me to take a photo.

Oh tomatoes, oh oh oh... September is so far away.

Have you done winter sowing before? I'm tempted to try it, I just found tomatoes sprouting in the garden where some fruits fell a few months ago. There's also a squash of some sort growing where I dug in some worm compost a while back, it has survived cold and deer so far.
Amy said…
Is that a loofah sponge? I love making soap around slices of loofah.

This swap sounds amazing!
ann said…
I am not a religious person, but I swear, not a day has gone by that I haven't said a little prayer to the weather gods beseeching them to have pity on those of us that had to do without a single properly ripened tomato last year. I want to meet Not Wes!
Unknown said…
What a beautiful post. I love the way you describe food...perfection.

I have a ton of arugala in my garden..and broccoli rabe. I didn't remember planting the rabe so am so very happy to see it! My kale is growing too...:)
ohhh yes, I can't wait for tomato time again.
Cafe Pasadena said…
This posting should make anybody feel better!
Btw, does your stomach ever think about macaron's? Or, macaroon's??
Christina said…
Linda: I'll eat tomatoes until I'm sick of them. So good.

Michelle: I can't believe I got that picture! I was stalking him for an hour or so as he watched my chickens, but he kept moving around. I was thrilled to catch him on the garage roof. I've never wintersowed before, but my tomatoes are growing, so it looks like it's working!

AmyR: It is a loofah. The guy who brought them showed us the soap that he made with them too--I'd love to learn how. It's awesome that you make soap!

Ann: I'm crossing my fingers for you to have the opportunity to meet Not Wes too. I know you'll be fast friends.

Mel: Thank you. I'm glad that you have the happy surprise of broccoli rabe. I love the stuff!

Dirty Girl: I know it's coming; it just seems so far away . . ..

CP: I just voted on your post about macaroons/macarons. Funny topic--I'd never thought of it before!

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