Monday, August 23, 2010

Harvesting While Drinking.

On Friday afternoon I got to indulge in my favorite activity: harvesting while drinking.

Looks just like it sounds.

Honestly, I hadn't identified this as My Favorite Activity until I realized that I'd been looking forward to it all week and then sat and indulged in it for a solid hour and decided that anything that satisfying deserved to be categorized as its own activity rather than just That Thing I Do So That I'm Not Just Staring Off Into Space While I Drink.

Much like one might call sewing, skiing or collecting cat figurines an activity - I call Harvesting While Drinking an activity. And I think we can agree it's at least cooler than adding a new porcelain calico to a curio cabinet.

Kitty Cat Figurine Collectors of the world - do not leave me a comment about your boring ass hobby. It will not change my mind and I will publicly berate you. Just a heads up.

About my new favorite activity though...

Early Friday evening I headed out to the garden with my G&T while Bubba biked off to the store for something I can't remember, and I did what I usually do in that situation - I trolled the garden looking for Idontknowwhat.

You see, I can't just sit down and stare at the wall and drink my cocktail because that seems unproductive, so in lieu of doing something that's obviously nothing (ie. staring at the wall), I instead wander aimlessly through the garden while I sip away and my mind drifts. If anyone were to ask me what the hell I was doing (though, come to think of it, no one does) I could just say something impressive sounding like, "Inspecting the plants for destructive pathogens" or "Scaring squirrels out of my garden with The Force" or something like that.

And who can criticize someone for the obviously ingenious use of The Force in organic gardening? No one, that's who. And they might even be impressed that I'd harnessed the power of gin to aid in gardening via The Force.

So, anyway, my aimless wandering and its vague premise keep me from looking like a near-catatonic alcoholic and then sometimes I actually DO something like pick a tomato.


Well, last Friday I did more than just pick a tomato and that is how I realized I could combine two independent and mostly mindless activities into one great and awesome activity that will heretofore be recognized as Harvesting While Drinking.

It may sound vaguely felonious, but I assure you it's safe and doesn't violate any federal laws.

Goes like this:

Mix yourself up a nice cocktail. I chose a Magellan Gin & Diet Tonic with lime. You do what you like.

It's blue like the sea. Which goes with the fish on the glass. And this is where my  mind goes when I'm "Harvesting While Drinking". 

Wander out to the garden with the intention of doing nothing, but still carry a basket with you.

Take a few laps around the garden just soaking in the greenness of it all and thinking about nothing more than HOLY SHIT LOOK HOW BIG THAT SPIDER IS.

Sip the cocktail.

Sit down and decide you're going to see how many Mexican Sour Gherkin cucumbers (or whatever veg you have in abundance) there are.

Final tally: 1 million

Sip the cocktail.

Pick them all.

Sip the cocktail.

Then start to root around under the pickling cucumber to see if there are any you missed on your last pass.

Sip the cocktail.

Find one the size of a baseball bat and two normal sized ones.

I'm barely exaggerating about the baseball bat one.
Sip the cocktail.

Move on to the beans because if you've already picked two kinds of cucumbers and located the spiders then you might as well do some real harvesting.

Sip the cocktail.

Pick a pound of beans. Admire the pink blossoms.

Sometimes they look purple.
Sip the cocktail.

Decide it's probably time to see if that big heirloom tomato is really the 2 pounder you've been waiting for. Pick it and weigh it.

1 lb 13 ounces. Damn.

Sip the cocktail.

Decide you might as well clear the tomato plants of any ripe ones so that they can get started on the second batch of tomatoes before Real Fall arrives.

Sip the cocktail.

Pick almost 9 lbs of tomatoes and leave them on the picnic table while you go hunt for a bucket big enough for all that stuff.

Sip the cocktail.

Return with the galvanized bucket you use for drinks when you have company because it's the biggest container you have that's not disgusting and fill it to the brim.

Finish the cocktail, take a bunch of pictures, tell the Internet about your ridiculous life and make fun of crazy figurine collectors.

Make that crazy CAT figurine collectors.


So, now you get what I'm talking about. As though the concept of Harvesting While Drinking was a really obscure one. And you should also know that there was a fantasy that predicated this whole event and that fantasy was Wouldn't It Be Super Cute To Have Tiny Watermelon-Looking Cucumber Pickles?

That can be a fantasy. Don't tell me my business.

So, after I picked all one million or so Mexican Sour Gherkins, I marched off to the kitchen and put them in some pickling brine I'd made special and set aside (read: had left over and couldn't throw away).

And, damn it all, if those aren't the cutest pickles I've ever seen.

There were extras, so I made this creepy looking combo.

Plus, don't you know I had to figure out what to do with the 9+ lbs of tomatoes I suddenly had on hand, so made plans to spend some QT with the oven and ended up with 6 dinner's worth of The Best Tomato Sauce Ever. Yep.

Plus a tomato salad, tomato sandwiches and gifts for my tomato loving coworkers. Lucky bastards.
So, that's all. If you see me wandering around the yard with a drink, you'll know what I'm doing. And you should bring out the big bucket for the harvesting that will inevitably happen. And ICE! I always need more ice.


  1. I may be a crazy cat lady, but I deny any claim to collect cat figurines.

  2. Yo Twisted South Bay Sister!

    I tried to duplicate your Drinking While Harvesting Activity, but I didn't achieve the same results.

    Am I doing something wrong? I chose Tanqueray and Diet Schweppes. Does Magellan Gin really make that big of a difference?

    I have the same galvanized drink bucket as you, but somehow half-a-dozen yellow-grape tomatoes don't photograph nearly as well. Well, particularly since all six of 'em were consumed immediately after being pulled from the vine.


    Hate to say it, but I may have to follow Finny's Totally A/R Soil-Prep Routine next spring (to the letter!), cuz this year's garden SUCKED! ('course, the fact that trees have grown and my neighbor's vines are threatening a coup - *above* my former full-sun garden location might have contributed. That, and the utterly craptastic non-summer we've had...)

    (But I digress!)

    What is going on with your Jelly Melons? All this talk of Drinking and Harvesting and I've seen nary a word spoken about the Demon Crop!

    Mine, as you know, were devoured by snails within minutes of transplant - so I am counting on you!!!

    Do Tell!

  3. I should definitely drink before I go into the garden. Maybe then I wouldn't care so much about all the fucking weeds.

    But I do. Care, that is. I'm actually kind of looking forward to the killing frost . . .

  4. Finny,
    I drink on Friday nights too. Right after I come home from the corner farmstand. You see here in New Jersey, August is THE month for tomatoes. I drink my vodka/rocks while I make my tomatoe salad(it looks as good as yours). I make other stuff too. I do have kids.
    I did try to have a garden once. But a bug jumped on me when I went to go pick something once. I had to let it wither up and die. You see I grew up in Brooklyn and I do have rules about bugs on me....Way less bugs at the farmstand. Practically none at the supermarket!
    I do enjoy the posts. You are an inspiration.
    Trish(mother of a Finny)

  5. OMG I thought those watermelon-looking cucumbers were cute before I FOUND OUT HOW LITTLE THEY ARE!! Now I think I'm going to die from such cuteness.

  6. Wow Finny -- that's quite the haul. And your whole post sounds like a tutorial to me. You could be the crazy blog lady and make a Harvesting While Drinking tutorial button and post it in your sidebar.

  7. Holy hell, those really are the cutest pickles I've ever seen! And I've seen some pretty cute pickles.

  8. i don't drink.
    but you make it sound so fun, it makes me want to.
    :rethinks her life

  9. I like your style.
    I'm concerned about you drinking diet tonic. What are they putting in that?

  10. I love gardening and I love drinking. Why have I never thought to combine the two?

  11. awesome post, as usual.

    i had never seen those little watermelon pickles, 'til this year at the farmer's market. i bought some, with the intent of pickling them. your photos inspired me, i'll get right to it.

    sauce looks good too. anything that uses 9lbs of tomatoes looks good to me right now.

    your garden is lovely.

  12. Every year I say this and every single year I sincerely mean it: I am AMAZED by how much you are able to produce from that tiny garden. It is truly such a great way to honor the earth and be conscious. Also? Your coworkers are lucky ducks.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.