This is a big weekend for the Norman household. In addition to celebrating Mother’s Day, my daughter is on her way home from her first year of college. My son celebrates a birthday and his high school baseball team fights in the playoffs. It’s a trifecta of converging events. I find myself planning a special Sunday dinner on my way into work to mark all these occasions.
It’s been a longstanding tradition to find the best of the best ingredients of the season at the produce stand. I’m sure our menu will include high tunnel tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh salad greens, asparagus, strawberries and rhubarb. We will plant fresh herbs and flowers in our planters and cut peonies and irises from our yard to fill vases.
I enjoy the connectedness with the season to make things feel special but also make things feel “now”. Flowers, fruits and vegetables each have their own short time.By incorporating the here and now of the season onto our dinner tables we can appreciate the cycle and evanescence of life.
Out on the farm we finally finished planting our first tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, zucchinis and cucumbers. We also harvested our first strawberries. Stepping away from the rows from the vantage point of the hilltop you can really see the entire farm taking shape. The rows and beds follow the contours of the slope and resemble a patchwork quilt, not flat like a nicely made bed, but rather one with a sleeping giant underneath forming hills and basins. I see the tractor on the horizon of the adjacent hill and head over to check in.
I find the crew on the transplanter, a tractor attachment which pokes holes in the plastic, fills each with water, while two people plant each hole from seats close to the ground with trays of transplants on slanted shelves in front of them. I always admire the ingenuity of the farmers and inventors that came up with these devices. There’s not a lot of technology involved, more of a creative outside-the-box thinking toward efficiency. Just barrels of water, wheels with teeth, and seats close to the ground.
Happy Mother’s Day and cheers to all the mom’s out there. For all you dads, sons and daughters wanting to do something special, take a tip from Farmer John and shop at Norman’s! Have a great week everyone and see you at the stands.