Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Twenty-dollar Tomato

My husband Sam had an excessively green thumb. Every year he would plant an acre in front of our house with vegetables--swiss chard, squash, okra, green beans, onions, corn, peppers, tomatoes, etc. For several years, we had two long rows of asparagus--yum, yum. Of course, there were also fruit trees and flowers all around.

My dark brown thumb cooperated only in the picking, cooking and/or putting up all the produce. It was an enjoyable joint venture that we and our neighbors loved.

Since he has been gone, I have not done anything with vegetables. However, this year I determined to do some gardening in a pot. So I went to Lowe's and bought some very hardy tomato and pepper plants. They were doing quite well until the aphids took over the tomatoes.
Then I had to find a spray to get rid of them....back to Lowe's. The plants grew so tall; I had to find a way to prop them up....back to Lowe's. One evening I noticed that almost every leaf was gone on the pepper plants--looking carefully I found two very green fat worms who had feasted all day. They were almost invisible to the naked eye, and I put my hand on one of them---run, run, run. Of course, they were appropriately squashed. Fortunately, the tomatoes showed no signs of fat worms...until the next morning when I found three huge ones chomping up and down the two plants. Back to Lowe's to find an anti-worm spray. The worms had also taken bites out of two of the three tomatoes I was lovingly cultivating.

Today, I picked the one tomato which had survived to ripen. I haven't eaten it yet, but it seems to have a very tough skin--I know it is not going to be good. Oh, well, maybe I will pay a visit to the Farmer's Market in Franklin next Saturday.

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