I remember reading Barbara Kingsolver's description in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle of this very time of year when tomatoes covered every free surface of their kitchen, and they had to work long into the evening getting them into sauces and canning jars before the pesky things rotted. I am a wimp, a mere dabbler who is thrilled to have harvested (and eaten immediately) my third tomato, but I've had a glimpse of what self-sufficiency might feel like. It would involve tired feet and sticky floors, for sure, and I bet some times when the whole batch failed or the pesky things did rot. But there still must be the awe that we had tonight, carving our tomato, that it actually grew from something we planted! And that in the dead of winter we will have gazpacho and blueberries and corn that didn't get shipped here from California in little plastic bags.
And it gives me vast respect for Jeremy and Aimee, Meg and Claire and all you out there who are filling your cans and freezers and your root cellars and will really live on those goodies, braving hard work now and sometimes monotony later.
(This fuzzy little image is of a tomato that came from the farmers market this morning with two little headlights growing out of its already interesting topknot. When it comes to growing veggies, homegrown is without a doubt more imaginative than mass produced.)