I stood for a couple of hours at a high shaded table, pricking out tomato seedlings from tiny containers into slightly bigger ones. The seedlings--half a dozen different varieties, for cooking and eating, red, yellow--are a healthy size, and it felt good easing them out of one container into another, centering them, sifting potting mixture around them, tucking them in, labelling them, moving trays of them into another plastic-wrapped greenhouse till they are the right size to slip into the ground. 

When all the tomatoes had been done, we--me and a bunch of student volunteers putting in their required time at the 'farm' for a class in earth sciences--switched to peppers, frailer subjects, mostly just a tiny leaf or two trailing roots, but same process. 

The thing about tomatoes is the smell of the leaves. I squeeze them and then I sniff my fingers, revelling in it. It's as good as the tomatoes themselves, though tomatoes off the vine are pretty terrific too.

My reward for my labour is two fat leeks, a visit to the chickens that netted three fresh eggs, a bag of strawberries, some fresh oregano, and a bouquet of orange and yellow flowers that look like marigolds but aren't. Their petals are edible. Dinner: leeks (I wrote leaks) with olive oil, an omelet, strawberries.