Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tomato explosion!!

I love tomatoes.

They are my favorite fruit, vegetable, whatever you want to call it. So simple in its design and form, yet capable of endless palatable possibilities. I never realized it before, but I probably eat tomatoes at least 4 times a week. You are what you eat? Then I'm a fat, red tomato.

This year is the first time I've attempted to grow anything substantial on my own. During my childhood, my grandmother, an expert gardener, had a wonderful patch of vegetables in our backyard. She grew everything from winter squash to delicious chinese herbs. And of course she grew my fave! Tomatoes. They were big and fat and juicy and I ate them for summers.

So now as I sort of follow my grandmother's footsteps, my fire escape has transformed into a makeshift garden of tomato, rosemary, and pepper plants. They sit on the fourth story, surviving the worst conditions New York has to offer--everything from massive heat waves to the terrible 2nd Ave subway construction. Stumbling through the gardening process has been fun and insightful, but not without making some mistakes. Usually dumb ones. For example, do not sprinkle ALL 30 seeds from your packet into your one pot. One seed does indeed equal one plant, and that one plant WILL become over 5 feet tall and block out your entire bedroom window. Many seedlings were sacrificed in this lesson.

I have 3 cherry tomato plants now. Two are flourishing outside and fruiting like mad. They are thick-stemmed and fuzzy, and smell like a tomato porno. The third is stuck inside my apartment and slowly dying from lack of sunny rays. It's been kept inside for months since it's too big to put outside, and it hasn't been receiving the proper sunlight. Sigh...I had high hopes for this big guy, but sometimes you try to reach for the stars and you just come crashing down. Lesson learned. Next summer: new plants, new plans.