Friday, August 10, 2012

the harvest

So I’m starting to understand how parents feel. Because I”ve been watching something grow, and it’s pretty amazing. I mean, as I see it, as a young person I can either work it into my budget to have children one day… or be able to afford to occasionally buy lunch from the Whole Foods salad bar. Not one without the other.

But watching something grow feels good. Bragging about its accomplishments.

Regular readers will recall that the tomatoes started (relatively) small, just a wimpy little sissy things held up with chopsticks.

But they had a serious growth spurt, and got some big grownup stakes to hold ‘em up.


And along with a massive growth spurt in the height of the plants, what were once buds became proper flowers.

DSC00937 DSC00938

Cunningly held to the stake with the help of what are essentially giant bag ties. If we’re sticking with the (creepy?) children analogy, perhaps we could consider these the equivalent of braces?


Tragedy struck them in their youth- when we had our crazy DC weather, the gusts of windwere so violent that they blew two of the plants off the deck. One of the pots broke, the stems were bent every which way, and the soil was violently flung out.

I repotted them as securely as I possibly could. I sang them both “I Say A Little Prayer For You” and “Hey Jude”, because I’ve heard music is good for plants and because I’m fond of both of those songs and find they very encouraging.

And they just kept on truckin, man!

And what were once flowers popped out into these enchanting little green things.

  DSC00972 DSC00973

And yes, I did count them pretty regularly (and watered them evvvvery day). What was once two or three became eight, then fifteen, then twenty two (!) in pretty rapid succession.

And Holy Toledo they got bigger and bigger and bigger!


AND THEN THEY STARTED TURNING RED! I seriously can’t pick what was the most exciting point in the process (yes, seriously. Exciting.) but this might’ve been it.


At a certain point I had to consult the advice of more experienced gardeners regarding the harvest.


I took their advice until one (not actually either of the ones in the picture, suggesting some tomatoes simply mature at their own rate, like some humans) at last was ripe and beautiful.

It came right off the vine. Good sign!


I was so. proud. It looked totally heirloomy!


Since a single tomato was available to fill me, my sister, my boyfriend, and my mother… none of us got all that much. I made a salad with some (also local, though not grown by me) spinach and a simple vinaigrette (blackberry balsamic and olive oil).




If all it is is the magic of having grown something yourself, I want to grow all my own food. I think it was also just a really excellent varietal of tomatoes (thanks Lyddie!)- they are heirloom Abraham Lincolns. Anyway, they were wonderful- firm on the outside, juicy and sweet within, tasting incredibly flavorful and redolent of sunshine :)



MelindaRD said...

Nice work! I just took 2 off the vine today, and 3 cherry tomatoes too. Isn't it great to enjoy your own harvest. All that hard work, and waiting, really pays off. Enjoy!

Steven Alexander Heathcliff Basil Bert said...

Spankin' brilliant and hilarious! I love that you polled the audience for the tomato plucking decision. Also, I'm glad you weren't led astray.

Also, because you're tomatoes are doing so well, I thought you might want to tell them a joke in conjunction with your great vocal performances.

You can use this:

Why did the tomato blush?
Because he saw the salad dressing.