Expensive ones. I’ve been buying heirloom cherry tomatoes for a while now. I decided to get a Sweet 100 plant and had a vessel and soil. It was about 10″ tall and someone had asked the store to cut a stake in half. I bought the other half, then a full stake then the plant got taller than me.

I re-planted it in a 2 gallon container in fresh soil and it was sick for a week. Now I’m trying to get it sunlight and the right amount of water, indoors. It looks like we may get 12 tomatoes this year, the most expensive tomato endeavor I’ve ever undertaken.

We’re consultants. I’m retired but it still costs us time and money for me to tend to a tomato plant that cost $2.99. First half-stick, full stick, repotting, tomato cage. Now I believe we may have 11 tomatoes this year, if they ever ripen. I could buy that in a heartbeat at the grocery store!

Plus the linen twine. They didn’t have florists tape that I always used to trim and grow my mother’s bougainvillea. Now, I used lightly knotted linen twine to the stakes, to get the plant to grow and flower. It is on a cone, covered with a plastic bag to keep it from dust.

People thought I was crazy to get a full cone of linen twine for binding chickens and meat. When you buy it by the foot at the grocery store it costs a lot more. My cost, I said, is that when this cone is gone, I am gone. I lent some of my life to this tomato plant.

I use the cone of linen twine joyfully for my husband and guests. It is kind of fun to have a tomato plant in the house and self-pollenate it by means of a pencil. It does stink and I have to wash my hands twice after touching it. At least we don’t have tomato worms!

We have to hermetically seal ourselves in here because there is a swamp below us, we cannot have screens, and gnats and mosquitos live in that swamp and visit …. me. Years ago I made 15 phone calls going up the food chain and I was told that the 3″ swamp by the old railroad track was governed by the MMPA, as if blue whales and porpoises were living in there. They just don’t want to clean it up.

There’s a porpoise to this note, remember Flipper? He would never wish to live down there. Here’s to healthy tomatoes without tomato worms. Cheers! Dee



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