The growing season is short in this mountain town. I tried to grow my own tomatoes once.
I watched and waited. And I waited. And I waited. And only one tiny tomato started to grow on my plant. And I watched and waited. And waited. And waited for it to turn yellow, then orange, and it was almost red. One more day. Tomorrow it'll be ready to pick, I thought. When tomorrow came, my tomato was gone.
The pant was there, but someone had come onto my back porch and swiped my one and only tiny tomato. It had to have been a someone, because no other part of the plant was disturbed. No leaf. No stem. To keep from being angry, I decided that whoever had done must have been really hungry and that one red tomato too tempting.
I never did grow tomatoes again after that. And after my entire potted lavender plant was stolen off that same back porch, it was hard to extend grace.
But house sitting has brought new opportunities to benefit from other people's garden, even if I no longer have a back porch of my own to fail at growing my own bounty. This summer I've enjoyed rhubarb, tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, and more. Most recently it was a crop of late tomatoes that never did ripen before the frost hit. But thanks to my southern ancestry, I knew just what to do with a bushel of green tomatoes.
Fried green tomatoes. Well, a knock-off anyway. I chose to skip the grease and bake mine instead, but served with hot sauce, it was hard to tell the difference.