July, my weather prediction is hot and humid with zero chance of snow or frost. We will see how close I am to being right. But I want you to know it is not a certainty, and the reason why? In 1816 was a year that is remembered by the Old Farmers’ Almanac as the year without a summer. The forecast for both July and August was snow in New England and Eastern Canada. Why would there be such a strange forecast? BECAUSE of an eruption of a volcano in Indonesia! The eruption put so much dust in the atmosphere that the sun’s light was partially blocked. What made me think of this occurrence? Well as I am writing, I am looking out the window and cannot see the mountains for the thick plume of smoke that is blocking my view. Of course, this is from the Canadian wildfires. So, we can never know what we may see before we leave this old world.
Remember what the old timers always said if you had a ripe tomato by July 4th, you had a good garden. I thought that gardens were starting to become a thing of the past but recently there has been an increase in planting backyard gardens because of the crazy grocery prices. In May I was in Mt. Jackson and needed a few things, so I stopped in at the Food Lion Store. While strolling through the aisle I came across a Krispy Crème Donut display at the end one aisle. I, being a fan of a good donut, approached the display at the same time as another gentleman. What we saw we could not believe. One dozen, that’s 12 you know, mixed Krispy Crème Donuts $15.50 and even worse one half a dozen, that six donuts, $11.49. And how many did we buy, absolutely none. We both suddenly realized we weren’t hungry for donuts. I came home and looked up the payment package for Krispy Crème CEO. Now this was for 2021, and the total package came to 23.6 million dollars. Now with that he could afford to buy a dozen donuts. I remember the saying from years ago, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
Back to the gardens and tomatoes, in 1993 I was appointed Postmaster of the wonderful little community of Quicksburg in Shenandoah County. It became like a second home to me and the residents like family. One year I decided to plant a “little” garden with only a few tomato plants. Now I need to tell you, I am NOT a gardener, so with that being said, one of my tomato plants started to look “sick” I gave it some water and hoped for the best, but it seemed it needed more than water. It continued to look worse and worse, so much so that one of my frequent customers came in with a startling prediction, “I don’t think your tomato plant’s gonna make it!” Now I must confess, I had the same feeling, but it was discouraging to hear it from a professional farmer. But as you who me know, I didn’t want to give up without a fight. So, I say something hopeful like, “I have something at home called Miracle Grow. I’m going to give it a dose of that, hopefully that will help.” Again, his response was not very encouraging because he said, “I don’t think anything will help that thing.” To be honest I had to agree, but I did have a plan. That evening I stopped at the Farm Bureau and went to their gardening section. There just as plain as day was the answer to my problem. I made my purchase, and the next day at lunch I went into my little tomato patch and started to work. This was exactly what it needed without a doubt.
After a few days my future harvest was looking up, lush green plants and one even had a tomato on it! I could not wait for my customer to come back in, and after a few days here he came. As he approached the counter, I asked, “Did you look at my tomatoes?”
“No, No I didn’t,” he replied.
“Well, check it out. I believe they’re gonna make it now, and one even has a tomato on it.” So out he went and around the corner to my plot. When he came back in the office, he was walking very slowly with his head down as if he was studying the floor. Before he could say a word, “I said doesn’t that one have a tomato on it? I believe they are looking better don’t you?”
Slowly he answered, “Yeesss, what was that stuff you put on them?
“That miracle grow I mixed up?”
“Where’d you get that stuff?” he asked.
“Oh, just something I came up with.”
He just turned around and started slowly walking back out toward the door still studying the floor. Well, I need to tell you this, I might be a big kidder, but I don’t want to be a liar.
I called him back and shared the rest of the story…
-My trip to the Farm Bureau, true.
-My purchase of just what I needed, true.
-How it happened to be a new tomato plant and it even had a tomato already on it.
– And on my lunch break, how I went out and pulled the old, wilted plant out and threw it over the bank, and put that beautiful plant in its place.
After I told him, he just smiled and said, “Well I thought something was not right”.
Remember Fulks Run Ruritan Lawn Party, July 20th thru 22nd
Believe it or not
Until next Time