Preparing for the onslaught.


We didn't plan very well.  We had the books, the friends with experience, the Internet.  A copy of this year's Farmer's Almanac.  And despite all our resources and all the time we had, we didn't use any of it.

Instead we found ourselves one Sunday in May, grabbing seedlings off the shelves and holding them close to our chest, hoarding them, impulse shopping.

We'd spent the previous months conniving to get San Marzano tomato seeds, even thinking we could try smuggling them from Italy.  So, of course, when we found organic seedlings of these along with over a dozen other varieties -- within walking distance of our house -- we were done.

$140 later, our arms were loaded with flats full of scrawny and spindly sprigs, adorned only with wooden sticks that promised strawberries, parsley, peppers.  Watermelon beefsteak tomatoes.  They all looked so skinny, embarrassed in their adolescence.  I secretly doubted we had enough.

But those little sprigs have blossomed and are now rife with promises of future bounty.  We already have more basil than we know what to do with.  And our zucchini plant is a veritable factory.

Just don't get me started on the arugula.