I lost a whole hour today, just after lunch, reading about heirloom tomatoes.  I made a partial list of varieties that interested me.   In fact, the list was casually headed, “Like to try this year.”  About 30 different names got onto the list, for one reason or another.

At the end of the hour, F. came into the office and said I looked “dazed.”

Heck, yeah, I looked dazed.  Do you realize how huge and varied and fascinating the world of tomatoes is?  I was lost.  Forget sugarplums:  visions of tomatoes danced in my head.

How am I ever going to keep it down to less plants than last year?

19 plants was way too many for two people.  I gave away so many, and even so it was a constant struggle not to waste.  But as I read about heirlooms with names like Green Giant and Odoriko and Eva’s Purple Ball, it dawned on me that all I really need is a food dehydrator and some dedicated weekends making sauce and figuring out my brother-in-law’s inherited canning equipment, and I could plant more, not less, tomatoes.

Maybe even 25.  Or 30.

I could always give away jars of sauce, too.  And it goes without saying some of those jars would end up with my sister and brother-in-law, in exchange for the generous use of their equipment come August.

I mean it’s not as if tomatoes are difficult to grow.  The work practically does itself, anyway, because I like it so much.

Now all I have to figure out is how exactly to break it to F.  Earlier this week, he was dismayed when he learned about the number of cabbage transplants I’m planning.  I mean, they are a staple of his home culture’s cuisine, which I am now learning to prepare.  I naively assumed he’d be thrilled, like me.

Over and over, it seems to hit poor F. anew, like a brick to the forehead, that he’s fallen in love with and just recently married a wannabe farmer.  Sometimes he likes it, but generally it’s a slightly painful realization to someone who planned to get off the farm and stay there.

Who knows but he might freak out when he learns that I’m considering increasing our tomato investment?

Stay tuned for further developments.


10 Responses to “lost”

  1. Sounds like you will be growing lots of tomatoes! Nightshade family is a not go for me but I do love those little cherry tomatoes. Especially the sun gold variety. Good Luck convincing F.

    • Nightshade family feels like almost the only game in town at a certain point in the hot summers here. Sungold is one of my favorite cherry tomatoes. I would say favorite, but this year it got knocked off its pedestal by chocolate cherry. (Give that one a try. It even did well in part shade for us!)

      Thanks for the good luck wishes!

  2. Could selling at a local farmers’ market be far away? I’m just sayin’…

    • Well… it just so happens that really long term, like when F. is done with grad school and we have officially settled wherever it is we’re going, I’d love to start a CSA or sell locally. Actually, I’d also love to be one of those inspired people who starts the organic garden at the local elementary school. I love to see kids getting into gardening! (I could never dare do it here. For one, no kids to put me in touch with the school, and for another, I’m still viewed as an outsider here, and a city-bred one at that!)

  3. Lost an hour, but gained a lot of knowledge. Lynn’s suggestion is a good one – maybe try to sell some through a local market. And you know F. will come around – your passion for the tomatoes will have him shaking his head and smiling at the same time. 🙂

    • Great way to look at it, Talon! You are so right about F. smiling and shaking his head simultaneously. But although he is amused and sometimes dismayed, often he comes around. Just tonight during a discussion he said, “Well, it looks like what we really need for that is a goat.” And he was serious. He’s converting to my vibe on some things 🙂 (And I to his. I guess that’s how it goes in a marriage.)

  4. Sounds like you have the same disease I have- the one that seems to flair up every Jan/Feb! I have yet to even look at catalogs this year as we’ve moved and I’m still unpacking 🙂

    • Yes, I’m a confirmed sufferer of garden-catalogue sickness. Tonight I can’t quite get to sleep because I realized the first possible planting date for peas here is February 1st, even earlier than I imagined. It makes me equal parts nervous I won’t be ready and anxious for it to hurry up and get here.

      Hope you enjoy your new space and get gardening soon! 🙂

  5. Awww poor F! But it does sound like a lot of fun! My husband’s aunt and uncle have a HUGE garden in their back yard and we always recieve gifts of dill beans, spicy pickles and peppers, sauces, etc. This summer I learned how to can some strawberry-rhubarb jam and I can’t wait to do some more this coming summer. I too hope to start a garden when we end up in a home with our own space.

  6. It sounds to me like you gained more than you lost. You can think of an increased season as an experiment to hone in on which heirlooms are your favorites. Then in the subsequent season, you can pare back to the best of the best (who am I kidding…there will be more to discover by then!).

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