Firstly, I live in a second floor apartment. I’ve had a vegetable garden every year since I was a teenager. I now grow one tomato plant in a pot on my fire escape and one tomato plant in a square of dirt next to the front sidewalk. It’s a far cry from a vegetable garden, but I WILL have tomatoes.
Secondly, I didn’t start my own seeds this year, so bought plants from a nursery. I bought a cherry tomato and an early ripening variety. Or so I thought! Those cherry tomatoes kept growing into big tomatoes. God knows if the early ripening one was labeled correctly because nothing came early! First tomatoes in my area come around July 4. Despite the recent heat wave in everyone’s memory, this spring and summer was cool in my area– not good for speedy tomato growth.
Photo by jbweir
Thirdly, a tomato hornworm defoliated half of my tomato plant on the fire escape. In umpteen years of gardening, I’ve never been afflicted with these mythical monsters. They’re huge, have a hook on their ass, can defoliate an entire plant in 24 hours, and rear up to fight when you touch them. Mine went flying off the fire escape, although, I should have done this to the bastard.
Fourthly, I have tomato theft issues. Demented squirrels run off with the tomatoes on the fire escape. People strolling down the sidewalk pocket the ripe tomatoes out front, so these must be picked before they completely ripen on the vine. Even homegrown tomatoes taste like crap if they don’t ripen on the vine.
Defoliated tomato remains. Who says you need means to harness energy from the sun? Go tomato, go!
Sooo…you can see why I’m ecstatic. And I was in even more ecstasy as I ate my first homegrown tomato sandwich of the year. Mayonnaise (Duke’s of course), pepper, and tomatoes are all that go into it. Pure summer bliss! So good I ate two of them!