A lament for the delicious mainstay of almost every lunch and dinner since childhood. What have they done to my beautiful fruits???

My tomatoes love their marigold companions that keep the aphids at bay

I adore tomatoes. In a perfect world, I’d have a godzilla-sized garden with way too many varieties that would produce way too many tomatoes to be able to eat them all, and they would all be big, juicy beautiful organic juicy deep red, orange, or yellow or weird-colored globlets of rich juicy flavor.

Did I say juicy? Mmmmm — savory succulent juices drooling down your chin and dripping off your arm as you set your chompers into one and allow the earthy scent and luscious flavor to fill your mouth and swamp your tongue and rise up and smack your brain with ecstasy…

I never buy them anymore.

All I can find are the pale, dead looking, hard, mealy-textured cardboard-tasting ones that never ripen even if you leave them on the window sill for weeks, and make you wonder why you spent the outrageous amount they charge for them.

I’ve tried the supposedly organic ones that are about as tasty as a table cloth, the fancy little grape-size ones in those horrid cute plastic pyramid containers, the big supposedly heirloom ones that cost five bucks each, and the middle sized all-on-a-vine ones — pleagh. No flavor. So disappointing.

So once again, this year I shall attempt to raise some of my own. Did you know there are bush varieties and vine varieties? I did, but never knew that you should trim suckers off one kind (the vines) but not the other.

Last year my plants did OK until it got really hot — all but one threw up their hands and wilted like soggy spaghetti and summarily croaked in a silent sigh of defeat. The one who survived produced one undersized tomato.

So I ordered some heirloom varieties and planted them just-so, and so far so good. Cross fingers. Two of them — one vine and one bush — are actually flowering already!

And of course ya hafta plant marigolds nearby to ward off the aphids, right?

Wish me luck for a good yummers harvest this year!

I’ll keep on keeping on growing them until my last breath.


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text and image © Angela Treat Lyon 2023

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