Let me start off by saying that I love to garden, really I do. I get a lot of joy out of watching my flowers bloom, or picking fresh produce from the backyard. This last spring and summer were no exception. In February I started raising heirloom tomatoes from seed, mainly brandywine and rose, old amish varieties. They started their lives out innocently enough, as little seedlings on a windowsill. I know people say you can’t raise good tomato plants that way, but it seems to work out fine for me every year.
And yes, I like to eat ice cream. After a few months of spending their lives indoors at night, and outdoors in the sun during the day, it was time for these plants to dig their roots into some real soil. I picked out a couple nice ones, and gave the rest of the plants away to friends and relatives.
After a couple months in our backyard, we had no tomatoes. The people I’d given plants to were reporting huge, gorgeous tomatoes coming from their plants. Mine had lots of yellow flowers, and no tomatoes. I chalked it up to a bad spot in the yard, and decided not to move them. I’d deal with it later, and likely compost the plants at the end of the summer.
October came, and Justin asked me, “Claire, have you looked at the tomato plants recently?” I told him I’d kind of been ignoring that area of the yard (mainly because I didn’t want to deal with it). He replied that I really needed to go do some work back there. More specifically, he said the tomato plants had to go. I picked a Friday off of work to dig them out of the dirt, put on some old clothes, and grabbed my shovel. I wish I’d thought to take a picture in the beginning, but this is roughly one third of the way through.
The tomato plant was about the size of a small cubicle. No tomatoes all summer long, but this thing was huge. It was the mother of all tomato plants. I ripped into with with vigor, tugging on the plant, or literally hacking at it with a pair of gardening shears. I’m fairly certain I pulled something in my back doing it. On top of that I was so allergic to something that day, that at one point I had to come to terms with the fact that snot was just going to come out of my nose, and there was nothing I could do about it. And deep within the bowels of the plant, I found the greatest insult to injury ever known to man.
Curse you tomato plant, curse you.