We take our gardening seriously in northern California (god knows what they do down south). My friend Spring Warren has her Quarter Acre Farm nearby. My friends out in Sloughouse will undoubtedly set the record again for the number of tomato plants one family can sustain. Sherry and Dan operate at a higher elevation in Amador County and so are only now, in late May, putting in their vegetables. And look at the difference less than fifty miles makes! My tomatoes will soon establish a diplomatic relations with the other vegetables in my garden to discuss terms of surrender.

Already a portion of every dinner I eat at home comes from my garden. Pretty soon most of it will. Eggplants, sweet red and green peppers, Italian peppers, red potatoes, corn, romanesco broccoli (only if it doesn’t suddenly get very hot), French haricot beans, rhubarb, artichokes (already two!), Kadota figs, Brown turkey figs, still lots of lettuce, Swiss chard, collard greens, butternet squash, watermelon, and herbs galore will figure prominently in my cooking for the next five to six months. I’ve got about six or seven varieties of tomatoes across fifteen plants.

The challenge will not be how I will consume it all. I will have a hard time melding the mission of Shadowcook with all the stuff in my garden. But I love a challenge.