How do you like them tomatoes?

When the gardener came last Monday afternoon for his biweekly blowing the blossoms off the front porch, I took him to the back patio — where I virtually never go — and showed him a plant growing there, which looked to me like a weed and was taking over (with no care at all) like Audrey II in “Little Shop of Horrors.” I was going to ask him whether I (meaning he) should just remove the whole thing.

As we approached the growth, a big grin crossed the gardener’s face, and his exclaimed “tomato plant!” For the first time, I saw a few red fruit and many more green ones. As I say, I never go back there; and presumably those have been growing, untended, since well before I moved in. I feel so proud of my green thumb. I’m going to keep on doing nothing, so’s not to jinx the tomatoes.

I picked one of the few cherry tomatoes on the plant (there were several more, still green), washed it, and put it in the refrigerator. The next day I ate it. It was delicious and didn’t give me food poisoning. While picking the fruit, I’d learned that the resemblance to Audrey II was mainly physical; it didn’t talk with Levi Stubbs’ voice, and (more important) it didn’t eat me.

I left the plant alone for a few days, to give the fruit a chance to ripen.

When I returned to the back patio, the plant had grown — wider, and further up the back wall. I also sort of discovered why I’d never noticed the plant prior to that first time, sort of. There was a smaller version of Audrey II (as I’ll call it; she may yet have me for brunch) behind my neighbor’s place. Apparently some seeds had landed (a bird? Someone throwing a tomato over the back wall?), and now they were spreading.

 photo Tomatoes 2 July 15 2016 afternoon.jpg

Now I’m wondering if I should trim the plant back, which could become a weekly (if not hourly) ritual, or just uproot the whole thing and hope for the best. I’ll ask the gardener, but he won’t be back for another week.

I hope my place is still here.







3 comments on “How do you like them tomatoes?

  1. These may be the best tomatoes you will ever eat. Don’t tear the plant out! The ones at the supermarket (other than Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Aldi’s) are just window dressing. They look good, but they are relatively tasteless. Stephania

  2. Todd Everett says:

    They’re cherry tomatoes, so I’d most likely snack on them — which I like. It’s just a matter of controlling growth.

  3. Tyler says:

    Did you write the liner notes for The Best of Silm Harpo The Original King Bee? If so, we’d like to talk about permission to use them for a vinyl LP reissue project.

    Thanks for your time,

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