A necklace of bright red beads lies strewn on my plate, though some of the beads seem to have come unstrung. They are polished-looking beads, these, with skin that glows with the shine of youth.
I plucked my first tomato harvest the other day. A few days later, they still sit on my countertop, and I wonder how I shall ever bear to cut them up and boil them.
The cherry tomatoes are a different issue, though. Many of them never even made it to the photo shoot. They were gobbled up en route, and biting into them was a pleasure as they burst with flavor. It’s hard enough to keep myself from picking them with one hand while I water the plant with another. What really stops me is that I find it disquieting to pluck tomatoes while watering them.
As I see it, there are two different modes – the nurturer-waterer mode and the plunderer-picker mode. I cannot do both simultaneously. As it is, I do feel quite guilty about plucking the tomatoes the plant is so carefully growing.
I will not get the extraordinary harvest I once feared. I never got around to creating a vegetable bed for the tomatoes, and could not even repot most of them in bigger containers. In fact, while they were growing from seedlings (in April and May), I spent the time traveling. So practically all of them remain in 1 gallon containers which are clearly too small for them. Half of them did not even make it outdoors – they remain in the basement, turning towards the glass doors which provide them with all the light they need. Even better, I only need to water the indoor tomatoes once every 2 or 3 days.
And yet they don’t seem to mind exactly. The fruit will be slightly smaller, I think (though most of the fruit is still growing) – perhaps roma tomato size or a bit larger, and maybe I will get less tomatoes per plant, but the good news is, I will be able to use all my crop. I don’t have to beg friends to cart them away (which is good, because everyone I know seems to be growing tomatoes this year) and I don’t have to consider canning them, or any such thing.
The cherry tomatoes, meanwhile, are great to snack on. As I write this, I have reached out four times and finished off five of those beads. I think I will stop here.