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Selling Veggies on the Side of the Road

Here I am sitting on the side of the road, trying to sell tomatoes that won't sell. Actually, I like sitting here all by myself. I have 18 different kinds of organic heirloom tomatoes which I sell for $4 a pound. I could go to a high-end restaurant and try to sell them there, but they have already made arrangements with my fellow farmers.

I believe that the U.S. is the only developed country in the world where due to the health system you can go bankrupt trying to keep yourself alive. Some people call me a revolutionary. I just have my eyes wide open.

I went back to school recently and took classes, not on campus but online. I didn’t have to pay. I got a Pell Grant. I took business management, commercial composting and warm season crops. I earned two As and a B+.

Am I following the straight and narrow? Fuck no! Fuck the government and its rules. I have plants no one is supposed to know about. I’m teaching my kids not to follow rules, though I must admit they're well behaved and polite. Some of our county supervisors have their heads up their asses. They’re not serving their constituents. Look at Guerneville: tweakers, alcoholics, drug addicts and the homeless.

How much money did I make today selling veggies? $61. I started at 12:30 and I will finish at 4. Then I’ll take my son, Milo, skating in Monte Rio. A guy in a BMW convertible stopped, said he wanted $3 worth of tomatoes, and pulled out a $100 bill. I said, “Just take the tomatoes.” A porn star stopped, had no clothes on, but she was covered with tattoos. How do I know she’s a porn star?  I used to sell weed to porn stars. I know one when I see one. She was driving a Tacoma, with a huge Alsatian in the passenger seat. Ten minutes later, a woman in a Prius stopped and bought green beans, parsley and tomatoes: $8 worth. I threw in a cucumber.

One Saturday I sold $240 worth of my own homemade salsa with tomatoes, jalapenos, onion, cilantro and lime juice. I have one with salt and one without. One that's kick ass and the other for mere mortals.

People in pick-ups trucks usually don’t stop and neither do Republicans. I can tell from bumper stickers, or folks in Teslas. People in BMWs are funner than the rest. They jump out of their cars and say, “What you got, and when they see they shout, “Wow!” Motorcyclists do wheelies. Milo helps me at the farm stand. My daughter, Millie, who is 16, would be better, especially if she was fashionably dressed. You know men are pigs. A bald old guy wearing ZZ top sunglasses and wearing shorts and no shirt pulled off the road when he saw the porn star here. He was driving a Miata convertible and was more interested in her than in my tomatoes. Come to think of it, I should pay the porn star to hang out here.

You sit here long enough and the whole world passes by. On weekends, which is when I’m here, people are headed to the Russian River and don’t have time to stop, though a construction guy bought a ton of veggies for the crew, said they’d BBQ them at lunch time. The librarian at El Molino High School stopped and bought a lot of veggies. A couple of wealthy lesbians in a Mercedes convertible stopped. They wore dykes on bikes haircuts. We got to talking about marijuana. I showed them my plants and told them we’re allowed to grow six plants. One of them started counting, and when she got to ten she stopped, smiled and said, “I’ll buy veggies off a pot grower.” I said, “It’s medicinal marijuana.”

Next year I’ll move the pot plants behind the house and expand the veggie garden. I’ll improve the soil with mushroom compost, cow manure and minerals, and grow fantastic beets and radishes. Next year I’ll grow ten-pound plants. Next year I’ll kill it. This year I’ll get five to six pounds per plant. We’re close to the coast and there’s a lot of fog which doesn’t help the crop. The plants love the heat that's further inland. Last year, I had 80 plants, which was over the limit, and had to pay the county a $1,200 fine. If I was fined $25,000 I’d hire a lawyer. I gotta pay for the kids' education somehow. Money, money, money: that’s all I hear sitting here on the side of the road tryin’ to sell tomatoes at $4 a pound. I say, “Keep yourself squared away. Be careful who you trust and do some good.”

One Comment

  1. Jonah Raskin September 9, 2020

    Please show this to your dad and mom.

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