Category Archives: crop pride

Tah-may-toe/Toe-mah-toe (My Tomatoes)

When I was a child there was a fruit and vegetable truck that visited our neighborhood in the summer and fall. All of the housewives (an uncomplicated term at that time) would grab their toddlers and hurry out to the street to shop for their produce. Of course, in those days, milk was delivered to our doorstep each day also. These are amenities from the past that would make our lives more convenient in these hectic times. They were low tech, but communal in the sense that everyone saw someone from outside the family almost every day. We all looked forward to this kind of break in our everyday lives, even the children.

Anyway, today I am never visited by a fruit and vegetable truck, and although my supermarket, farmer’s market and plant nursery all sell produce, it would still be nice to have it arrive at my door without having to drive somewhere to get it. After all fruits and vegetables are ripe and then overripe sometimes before we can use them. Because they are so perishable having a fresh supply arrive at your front door several times a week might make us far more likely to use produce in all our meals.

Today we are replacing the veggie truck with our backyard gardens. I did not plant a lot of veggies this year because I have only been here a year and a half and this ended up being “flower year”. I did plant 3 tomato plants and 3 squash plants (2 zucchini, 1 delicata). Gardens are frustrating because of weather and pests. Some kind of worm destroyed my squash plants so I only had 3 zucchinis instead of the enormous output that one usually has to deal with. My tomatoes did well although I had to water every day because of our very dry summer. I’m not sure this resulted in any kind of financial savings, but my tomatoes are shiny, red, and delicious. I chose a hybrid variety bred at the local nursery which promised to be sweet and plump and which has lived up to its reputation.

However I am now inundated with tomatoes and must immediately come up with ways to preserve them or hand them off to others. Last night I made a nice fresh red sauce for a pan of manicotti and took it to my mom’s for dinner. I am also thinking salsa, or picante, or a few jars of stewed tomatoes to use at a later date. Every day I enjoy a tomato sandwich for lunch. I am proud when I harvest my tomatoes, but I think next year I will stick to flowers. There is no fruit and vegetable truck but great produce is available everywhere and I can purchase it in quantities that I can reasonably use. But, still, here is a picture of some of my lovely tomatoes.