The tomato farmer in me

my not so successful 2012 tomato plant

Dahlia

Heirloom tomatoes are some of the most colorful and uniquely flavored summer fruits going. Clipping tomato vines to strings that reached into the rafters of the mostly farmer-fabricated green house was a summer past time  of mine some years back. There were perhaps 6 double rows of 25 plants per row and a row on each end of single plants. The main vine of each plant had to be attached with a black plastic clip to the string as it grew beanstalkishly towards the sun or the whole plant would collapse upon itself. At the same time, the new shoots at each joint had to plucked off and the plant scoured for tomato worms which are about  the same shade of green as the plant’s leaves.  These were deposited into a pail from which they could not escape.

There was a very particular peacefulness as I moved from plant to plant, and a surrounding quiet. Usually, no one came or went and it was just me and the tomatoes. I worked slowly–it could be sweating hot– and usually only finished one side of a row and a shorter reach of the next before a subtle  darkness began to fall. Sometimes I would eat a couple of cherry tomatoes as I worked. I could hold these in my mouth for a long time.   Some were golden yellow, others orange, some green striped.  Most were not red but shades of red and orange. Some were such a pale green or yellow they appeared white.  They were sold to restaurants locally and as far away as NYC. And they were nothing like the Jersey tomatoes or Island tomatoes I remember as a child or young parent. I looked forward to leaving there each evening my skin saturated in absorbent green and smelling like tomatoes, my whole body infused with a tomatoey goodness. I  even dreamed tomatoes. A life penetrated by tomatoes and a distinct memory of exactly how that felt.

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This entry was posted on Friday, July 9th, 2010 at 3:52 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Tagged: , , , , . You can feed this entry. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response

  1. Reblogged this on Dalmatiandigs's Blog.

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