First red tomato


By Dennis Richardson, Magic Valley Publishing

I have a nice tomato out in the garden that turned orange Saturday and now is beginning to turn red. The one beside it is also turning red.
July 4 is my traditional goal to get the first ripe tomato. Thanks to all the warm and sunny days and mild nights and plenty of rain, this one should be ready to pick Tuesday. That means it will be ready two weeks before my goal. Hooray! Something to cheer about!
I also should have some squash ready to pick this week. There is something special about a meal with fresh veggies grown in your own garden where you know it is organic and no pesticides were used.
Rabbits and birds are probably eyeing this tomato, too, so I have to be on guard. For some reason birds left the blueberries alone this time. Either that is the case or we beat them to them.
Our gardens are not large, basically three raised gardens and a few pots on the deck. 
Soon there will also be grape tomatoes, green beans and some cantaloupes. The carrots that I planted have sprouts that look a lot like the beans for some reason so I don’t know what happened there. They look nothing like the picture on the package. Nor do they resemble the leaves of carrots on YouTube. A few more weeks will tell a lot.
It is good to see the roadside produce stands pop up. Some of that produce is imported but a lot is locally grown.
I feel fortunate to have found a quart jar of locally-grown honey at a small market. It is great on toast and biscuits.
It seems that this is the year of more gardens and farms as many opt for grass-fed beef and other items. Or is it just me?
Will there be a shortage of produce and beef this summer because of COVID-19? Maybe and maybe not. I noticed the prices at the stores really shot up for some reason.
The garden and pool provide an excuse to get out of the house a couple of times a day to pull up weeds and spray water on the garden and scoop frogs and spiders from the pool. And the Vitamin D is free.
Life is good.
Summer is here. Oh, and don’t forget to read more newspapers!

Dennis Richardson is the CEO of Magic Valley Publishing, Inc., which owns the Chester County Independent