Tomatoes and True Love

According to Guy Clark, there’s only two things that money can’t buy, that’s true love and home grown tomatoes. What would life be without them? The song was released in 1983 by Clark and also popularized by John Denver in 1988 on his album Higher Ground.

The tomato plants in my garden are doing well this year. The cherry tomatoes are ripening now. They are so good in a salad or just popped in the mouth right after picking off the vine. The larger sized tomatoes are still green but growing in size. There are lots of them. We should be feasting and freezing the extras by August.

Sixteen years ago, I didn’t have a garden. We stopped at the local farm stand for produce. One day, I was in a different part of town and noticed a farm stand advertising home grown tomatoes. It was the first stand I’d seen that season with them available. I made a quick turn and stopped to look. They did look delicious, all plump and red. I asked if they were actually locally grown. He assured me they were and even named the town. I bought a few. It was August 3rd.

We used them in salads and sliced them on buttered toast. They seemed a bit firm and lacking in flavor. You know me. I am a science teacher. I felt an experiment was in order. We saved the last tomato for the trial. I wrote the date of August 3rd on the skin of the still firm tomato and set it on the window sill.

Weeks went by. There was no evidence of change in that tomato. Two months went by with still no change. By late October, we were afraid to cut into it. But, it still seemed firm and ok. Finally, on November 3rd, it showed signs of getting soft inside. I marked the calendar, took its picture, then threw it away. We were certain it was not a locally grown tomato.


11 thoughts on “Tomatoes and True Love

  1. Ah, yes. The good old home-grown tomato. I’ve learned my lesson with those. Many of them are hydroponically grown, I’ve learned, and even at a farmers’ market, you have to be careful.

    But, I’ve been in tomato heaven for a while: picking my own at a farm. They’re done now, or nearly so. We had too much rain, and they started splitting, then recovered, and then got more rain. But for a while, there were a dozen varieties to choose from, and a half-dozen or more heirloom cherry and pear tomatoes. I’m trying to console myself for their loss with cantaloupe and watermelon.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have suffered tomato frustration for a long time. I can think of no other food product that is at once so useful but so poorly produced by the grocery industry. They are bred for appearance at the expense of quality. There’s no excuse for this other than an undiscerning public. Wikipedia says there exist some 7,500 varieties of this nightshade fruit.

    We occasionally find good ones at the local farmers’ market in July and August, but we’re out of luck the rest of the year. I would grow a garden but my Missouri backyard is but an inch of topsoil over clay and rock.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Jim, my tomatoes are doing well but it will be awhile before they ripen. I have always loved Guy Clark’s song about true love and homegrown tomatoes. After our homegrown tomatoes are gone, Lisa and I refuse to buy them from the store. We usually break down February when even the promise of a poor tomato sounds good. I liked your experiment. My neighbour and I also did an experiment that is ongoing. The best commercial winter tomatoes, he insists, are from Costco. They are grown in Mexico. He saved some seeds and we both grow a couple of plants. The plants are hardy, large and big producers. The tomatoes are all very uniform in size and take forever to ripen. They are also very hard and have tough skins. The last three virtues, I am sure, is so they can survive the truck ride to Canada. Anyway, we are growing the second generation seeds this year to see if they are any better. It is our desire to try to bring them back to ‘homegrown’ quality. Perhaps some of the Early Girl’s and Brandywine’s traits will rub off on the Costco Hardball’s. 🙂 Bob

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reminds me of tomatoes I’ve seen advertised in stores as “vine ripened,” even when the tomatoes are obviously not yet ripe.

    And then there are the television commercials that offer something “absolutely free — just pay a separate fee.”

    Words don’t mean a lot to some people.

    Liked by 1 person

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