Friday, March 25, 2011

Beautiful, Awe Inspiring Things

There's a tomato shortage right now. Had you heard? Down here in Texas, only folks who request tomatoes on their sandwiches or burgers get them. If then. A friend in the restaurant business tells me their kitchen usually pays $27 for a crate of tomatoes. Right now, they're $51. Ouch.

I have been babying, babying, babying my tomato seedlings the past few weeks. When the light is dim inside, I rush them outdoors. When the wind gusts or the temperature falls or it begins to pound rain, I rush them inside. Back and forth. In and out. This morning, while watering the 'lings, as I've come to call them, I decided: enough of this. They're going in the ground TODAY.

I have seven varities started: Amish Paste and Roma for sauces, Early Girl, Mule Team and Brandywine for slicing, Mortgage Lifters because I love their squatty shape and back story, and the ones shown here. These are San Marzano, the famous Italian tomato that people pay $5 (or more, now) per can. These are superb tomatoes.

There's a soft place in my heart, though, for the Amish Paste 'lings. They grew from seed I saved from my last garden at Freeman House. Three-year old seed, and they germinated. I think I actually teared up when they began hesitantly poking through the soil. Life goes on, they seemed to declare, and beautiful, awe inspiring things continue to happen.

Funny how a tomato can say such things.

Have a beautiful, awe inspiring weekend. -Brin

By the way, folks invariably ask me for gardening help and resource recommendations whenever I post on gardening. Do yourself a favor and grab these books: Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces, and Vegetable Gardening: From Planting to Picking. I've learned so much from them and you will, too.


Unknown said...

You can't go wrong with heirloom seeds, that's why they are all plant! Will have to look for that $5 tom seed! Too early to get anything in the ground here so keep your updates coming! :)

Vee said...

Well that explains a lot. I ordered a salad last evening at a local restaurant and it contained one lonely grape tomato. ☺

May your tomatoes grow strong and provide you with many delicious tomatoes. What your Freeman House tomatoes shared with you is wonderful. Very wise of them.

Thank you for the book list, too.

Melissa H. said...

You are very inspiring. I don't know how you have time to do all that you do.
Thanks for the recommendations. I went right over to Amazon to order Grow Great Grub.

Sissy said...

I just posted about how spring seems to awaken something in us, and I'm sure gardening does the same. The last couple of years have not always been kind to either of us, but we keep rebounding. Here's to a bountiful crop of tomatoes.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Yes, I love the heirloom varieties also! They have so much more intense flavor! Have you ever tried the purple Cherokee heirlooms? They are a little strange colored, but they are fabulous sliced plain or with chopped fresh basil, a little olive oil and vinegar! Wonderful!

jill said...

Same here in Georgia - there was alot of crop loss in Florida which is one of the main suppliers for this area.

Have you ever heard that old song..."You can't buy love or homegrown tomatoes..."? I'm really looking forward to harvesting my own this year, too.

Let us know your opinion at the end of the season as to which varieties you liked the best! Good luck with the garden!

Elenka said...

UGH!!! I'm still looking at white stuff outside. How I wish I could dig my hands into the soil already. It may be hot in Texas, but this time of year must be heaven.

carla said...

On the tomato shortage: a couple of weeks ago we went to Kincaid's for some of their fantastic hamburgers, and at the counter was a temporary sign which said that the available tomatoes were of inferior quality and therefore they weren't serving any.

Then at Tommy's Hamburgers (do you see a pattern here?), there was no such sign. Alas. A slice of hard, crunchy tomato was removed from my burger about half-way through.

Absolutely no comparison to a fresh one from the garden.

And starting them from seeds always reminds me of my English friend, Julie, who has trays and trays of them in her kitchen beginning in February. Such a hopeful thing, because February in England is a bit grim. I'd never known anyone to start tomatoes from seeds before her.