Monday, August 3, 2009

Treasure Trove...

Thank you Ann! Thank you Ann! Thank you Ann! for the freshly-picked, homegrown tomatoes, the products of a community garden tended by many diligent and loving hands and nourished with homemade compost.

What shall I do with these lovelies? Make salad? pasta sauce? sorbet? Part of me just wants to fall face down on them and wallow in their summer freshness.

Okay, so that last part sounded really weird. But after pawing over my spindly, dried-out tomato plants and having to settle for their measly offerings that have split and become dehydrated by the harsh desert sun, and after going to the market and facing too many insipid hothouse tomatoes and flavorless tomatoes that were shipped in from another hemisphere, these really do inspire me. (If I don't get on the stick early on Saturday morning, my local farmers' market packs up and leaves before I get there, so I'm stuck with the offerings at the grocery stores.)

I tried growing heirloom tomatoes in large pots this year, so I could drag them around the yard until I found the degree of sun they preferred. What I didn't take into consideration is how badly they dry out and that watering them every single day still isn't enough to satisfy them and help them produce anything much larger than a ping pong ball.

The wee little cherry tomatoes are doing fine and taste great (usually I eat them all while I'm out there watering everything else). But it takes an awful lot of cherry tomatoes to provide a sufficient crop for everything I'd like to do with a mess o' tomatoes. So I must depend on the kindness of friends and neighbors until I learn the secret of growing tomatoes in the desert. And when that day comes, I in turn will be sharing them with those who have yet to figure it out!

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