I just need three tomato plants and two poblano chile plants, and I was waiting to get them at the Sunshine Community Garden plant sale today. I pictured it as a little neighborhood event, urban gardeners selling seedlings, sort of like a yard sale with plants.
Our first film today is at 4, and I have to pick up our first box of produce from the CSA farm this afternoon, so J. and I got going early to get to the plant sale shortly after it started at 9. The street approaching the garden was already lined with cars, so J. dropped me off and went looking for a space to park. On my way in the gate, a smiling teenager handed me several stapled pages of legal-size paper which listed what looked like hundreds of exotic heirloom vegetable varieties. The place was bustling. A brass band was playing, people were scurrying everywhere, and two long lines snaked through the lot. I realized that these folks were waiting in line just to get into two small greenhouses to look at the tomato and pepper plants. And the lines were not moving.
I ambled over to a couple less crowded tables of herbs and flowers. People darted past me on either side, snatching plants from the tables. It was like a going out of business sale in a bad sitcom. I made my way back to the entrance just as J. was coming in. He had parked blocks away in the Unitarian church parking lot. I said, "I don't think I can do this," and we turned around and came home.
I just want to get the plants into the ground so we can eat the produce this summer. For me, having a garden is about the grocery bill and it's about the environment. It's not about a brass band and fighting a crowd for heirloom tomato seedlings. If I can't get tomatoes and poblanoes by Monday, I'm going to just put in more sweet potatoes and lima beans.