What stands out in my memory? The scenery. The openness of the country the further we traveled north through British Columbia, The Yukon and into Alaska. The unspoiled land seems to go on forever. While it was amusing to see the wild animals, talking to the locals was even more fascinating. We did not expect to meet as many people as we did who were from our state or the Mid-Atlantic Region like the motorcycle guys from York, PA or the gals from Delaware. My favorite was meeting a lady from Woodlawn, MD (a hop, skip and a jump from home) who moved to Valdez, Alaska as an nursing home assistant, loved the area, stayed and lives on her own. She said the grocery store didn't have collards. So she started growing her own indoors as well as other veggies. Even though the growing season is short, the plants get light almost 24/7. This lady has a buddy who bring her any roadkill, mainly moose that she freezes for the winter and she is set. That is a self-sufficient lady like so many others who live in that wild land.
When we come home from a long trip, someone should have a hidden camera on us. We forgot how to do things in our hybrid cars. I wondered why the microwave won't open - the RV micro has a push-open button, the house one does not. But the one thing I did not forget is how to go to sleep in my bed!
Along with getting acquainted with the house again, the garden called for a very intense relationship. Weeds abounded, the familiar and the strange. If any of you have dealt with pokeweed, you know it is a seek and destroy mission. Not wanting to use any herbicide, the only option was to dig up the poke. My advice - dig the day after an overnight rain because the main root can be at least six inches long and an inch or more thick. Plus you have to get the taproots (not sure if that is the correct word for them) that can run forever.
But my vegetable plants put a smile on my face. Even though the collard leaves looked like Swiss cheese, those plants were productive as well as the kale I planted. The basil was going to seed but you could smell its aroma. The best of all was my crop of about seven white onions and three small sweet potatoes. I thought I would not get any of those.
Now for the truly unexpected crop bonus. I planted a Roma tomato plant last summer, went away and came home to a Roma tomato jungle plant heavy with green tomatoes. I harvested about eight pounds of tomatoes. We had fried green tomatoes and green salsa almost into December. Turning the rotten ones into the earth, I was hoping for something to spring up next season.
By the time we were ready to leave this year, no sprouting plants were in sight. I thought no more about it. Fast forward four months and guess what grew over the summer. Another Roma tomato jungle plant. The weird thing is that the tomatoes near the bottom under all that growth are turning red and not the ones getting all the sunlight. I will let them stay on the vine before a frost comes. In the meantime, I'm going make some Green Tomato and Basil Pesto.
Glad to be back and truly there no place like home!