I may have solved the riddle of the ten zillion tomato plants.

If any of you care about my kitchen garden the way I do, getting right down into the weeds, as it were, you will remember that I have tomatoes right, left and center. Tomatoes and butternut squash: everything else squeezes in around the edges. The question is, how did this happen?

I think I figured it out. We had tomatoes for lunch, as we have done every lunch for a couple of weeks now. Not complaining, just saying. The first ones to ripen were these gnarly, irregular things. I’m trying to work out a variation of all cats being grey in the dark, but it’s not coming to me. Anyway, chopped up, gnarly works just fine. Some other varieties are starting to come online. We have beefhearts now and I think I saw a possible San Marzano turning pink.

So, today’s lunch, herbed omelet and a caprese salad. Just as I was about to dispatch this guy, have him meet his mozzarella, I realized. This is a Berkeley Tie Dye. What looks in the photo like a blown-out highlight is, okay, a blown-out highlight, but the main thing is, it’s yellow. Green, yellow and red, all on the same ripe tomato, a sure sign. I planted Berkeley Tie Dye last year. Not this year.

So this is the deal. The possible deal. Last year I planted all kinds of things. Then I ran off to Paris and left everything to fend for itself. Not many things came up. Some things came up, bore fruit — cherry tomatoes are pretty indestructible — and the fruit just rotted on the plant. Or maybe I threw it toward the compost bin and missed. Anyway, there were all these seeds left in the ground that just laid dormant.

This year I have spent a lot of time at the house, actually watering and taking care of things. And as avid readers know, we do no-dig; the seeds would still be near the surface. So my guess is that seeds from last year sprouted right alongside seeds from this year. Hey presto, bumper crop.

Fortunately I have a lot of cookbooks.

7 Replies to “Is This It?”

    1. Yes, they’re very good. No ripe garden tomato is really bad, but the ones that ripened earlier were kind of watery. These are juicy enough, but not so much that they dilute salad dressing, that kind of thing. Also the earlier ones needed all those ripples and curves, not to mention their rather thick skin, to give them structure. Once cut up, they kind of fell apart. This variety has thinner, smoother skin and retains its form when cut. Inside, the color is a uniform red. They are smaller than the “Coeur de Boeuf,” so maybe a better choice if you’re not big eater — of course in tomato season you’re bound to have lots of drop-ins at lunch time — but I do think Coeur de Boeuf tastes slightly better. I’m glad you like the photo. Thanks.

  1. The best artichokes we ever had were from a plant that popped up on the compost heap….
    I reckon that one can never have too many cook books, a claim hotly contested by husband.

      1. Likewise….they have a little office to themselves. But I am having to reorganise them now as the cleaner kindly dusted the lot while I was out and replaced them in an order known only to herself so that now when I reach for Grigson on veg I am likely to drop on food of the Mexican provinces….

    1. Hunky blue men, right there in my garden? Forget the tomatoes… I actually saw Mel Gibson once. He took his son to the opera. I’m sure it was a school assignment, as they both looked bored out of their minds.

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