We’re finally starting to see some ripe tomatoes – and the green beans are going crazy! We have two blue lake beans and two purple bush beans out there. The purple ones are easy to pick – they’re purple. The blue lakes blend in with the stems and leaves making them more difficult to see. They’re delicious – but a pain in the ass.

Let’s face it – Farmer in the Dell, I’m not. Our little plot needs a lot of work – I can’t even imagine twice as much, let alone an actual farm. Once, maybe 30 or 35 years ago, I worked all day with my sister, Arlene, picking honeydew melons in Marysville. I was reasonably young and in reasonably good shape. It almost killed me. I couldn’t fathom doing it day-in and day-out for the pittance migrant workers get paid.

I read today that more Mexicans are returning to Mexico than are coming north to work the fields. Some California farmers are paying a lot more for workers – who typically work 50-60 hours a week. Others are letting crops rot for lack of skilled labor to pick. The realities of using minorities as scapegoats.

In the fields picking, sorting… I did it one day. One. No, thank you.

I’ll bemoan our little plot and then remember what it was like that one day years ago. Suddenly, it’s not so bad!

Today while I was working, Victor made a great green bean and tomato salad with cherry tomatoes from the plant that just decided to grow. It also had thinly sliced red onion, hard-cooked eggs, and freshly-shredded cheese. He made a vinaigrette of olive oil, sherry vinegar, anchovies, garlic, and S&P.

Totally awesome.

It was served with a lightly-floured whitefish, fried in butter and olive oil and a sauce made of white wine, capers, parsley, lemon juice and lemon zest.

Totally awesome, part deux.

It’s great being married to a man who loves to cook.

And farm.