Missing the farm life this morning.
  1. I know I might not seem like a tomato farmer
  2. But out of everything I used to grow, tomatoes were the most fun. And the tastiest.
    These are geraniums, though.
  3. This was my big chalkboard menu:
    That's right: you're looking at 44 varieties, each one planted with love.
  4. I also had a brochure that explained the flavor of each one.
  5. This is how small they started: tomato bebes!
    Ignore the cauliflower in the foreground.
  6. And, depending on the variety, the plants could get quite large.
  7. When you buy a plant from a "big box store," it has most likely been sprayed with a PGR (plant growth regulator) so that it is easier to manage on the shelf and looks neat and compact in the pot. Customers like uniformity.
  8. When you purchased a plant from me, I was most likely wearing this outfit and you didn't have to ask whether I used hormones, pesticides, or herbicides on my edibles.
  9. You just knew. And it's not just that I didn't want to feed that stuff to you--I didn't want it on me. When I bought the business from the previous owner, the water was BRIGHT BLUE with synthetic fertilizer. I slowly moved to an organic fertilizer and eliminated the use of pesticides.
  10. So, back to the plants. They just did their thing. And they were sometimes hard to manage. Especially toward the end of the season, and especially when a big wind would whip up and blow them all over hell's half-acre.
  11. I think I developed my most elaborate curses during these trying times.
  12. But I also learned how to grow a tomato. And how to work. And how to wait.
  13. I love tomatoes. And no matter where I go in life, even if I don't have a proper garden, I will have at least one tomato plant. Here are my favorites:
  14. Sunsugar: A Hybrid cherry. Hands-down. Eat it in the afternoon, right off the plant. It will be warm and sweet and delicious.
  15. Green Zebra: a striped sweet heirloom with a sort of salty tanginess.
  16. Black From Tula: a sweet, smoky, rich, and beautiful heirloom. MARRY ME, BFT.
  17. Juane Flamme: Orange. Old French variety, excellent for eating fresh, great for drying.
  18. 🍅 Happy growing! 🍅