Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Ignorance of the Urban Gardener

A brief break from wedding minutiae to pay homage to my tomato plant.

This is a “black plum” tomato plant. Black plum is an heirloom variety which produces dark maroon tomatoes, about the size of a cherry tomato, which taste almost tart. I bought the plant on a whim last spring, sometime mid April, at the farmer’s market. I’ve occasionally toyed with growing things myself, but of course since I live in an apartment, my space is limited. And you can get pretty much anything in a store, so why bother?

But tomatoes….there are few things which are genuinely, noticeably better when fresh picked instead of store bought. (Tomatoes and corn: if I could grow corn in my apartment, I would, but that’s beside the point) So, I figured, why not try it?

Since I bought it on a whim, I did not research tmato growing beforehand. My mother grew tomatoes when I was a kid; I remember the spicy smell of the plants, and the sweet juicy tomatoes. Her plants were, I guess, some sort of bushy variety, because they never got over a few feet in height. I just assumed that’s how tomatoes are: low bushy plants. My plant was four feet in about two weeks. It quickly got out of control.

It did not produce a great many tomatoes—I’ve harvested maybe 15 or 18—and it produced them basically one at a time, so I could never get enough to make anything with them. I developed an antipathy towards it. My sweetie hates it, because it blocks the door to the balcony :-).

In the winter, it looked quite sad. I kept planning to throw it out, just as soon as that last tomato was ripe. But it kept having ooooone lassst tomatooo….all the way through the winter. By the time I picked the last one this week, it was too late:

It’s got eight new springtime flowers on it.

Who knew tomatoes were perennials??


The Beast Mom said...

I just have to say that the little circles cracked me up. :)


Anonymous said...

I like the second choice n necklaces too. Oh, and BTW, you can search for something to match those earrings too. (And yes, I read the post about QVC too. :-))