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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Anticipation or A Watched Tomato Never Ripens

I've been staring down a few tomatoes in the garden for the last couple of weeks. The blossoms were lovely, the little baby tomatoes miraculous. And as they grew, so did my appetite. Those first tomatoes from the garden are the best of the season. Dreamed about all winter, they started with seed catalogues in January, seedlings in March, transplanted to the garden in May, and then the REAL waiting begins.
We're at that stage in my Minnesota garden where it's a waiting game. The potato plants are flowering in a burst of purple and gold. The Swiss Chard and broccoli, having survived the demon bunny attacks are coming back nicely (maybe I'll even get a harvest from them, I hope with fingers crossed--which is really difficult while typing, but I digress.). Zucchini flowers are in full, glorious bloom and I know it won't be long before they explode into producing more than even my neighborhood can eat. I thinned the radishes again and have a few out there that are going to be just lovely in a few days. The rutabagas, well, you might as well just plant them and forget them til fall!
But, it's the tomatoes that call to me. Those first few tomatoes, as I mentioned, are the best. I remember the first year of my garden, I mistakenly planted 12 tomato plants, not realizing that two adults (one who doesn't even like tomatoes) and a toddler would never consume the abundant harvest they produced. I shared with the neighbors, my family, the mail carrier. Pretty much anyone who crossed my yard, got a few tomatoes. I ate them fresh, I canned them, I froze them, I roasted them and sun dried them. I cooked with them all winter. But, nothing can compare to that sweet, juice on your chin enjoyment of the first harvest.
I think I'll go check on them again.

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