The take.

tomhandsA couple things for starters: as I sit down to write this post I have a song running through my head. A song which none of you know unless you happen to have gone to a Catholic all-girls school in the eighties. I say this with some confidence because it is a little known fact that the Catholics are prolific song writers and drop a panoply of new, uplifting, guilt-inducing ballads every year. Trust me, they’re really good at it. When my parish went all folksy acoustic in the late seventies, I knew there was something afoot and I was not mistaken. So my song? The harvest is plenty, laborers are few, come with me into the fields . . . Ringing a bell? Susie? Yes? If not, it doesn’t matter. Completely irrelevant.

The other point I want to make is that I know I am tormenting you with this whole tomato fixation and I apologize. The only thing I can recommend is some patience. Maybe go away for a while until I get this out of my system, which will be sometime around the first frost. Anyone who has been tuning in here for a while is familiar with my little obsessions: calamity, my knee, music, bacon, my son’s hair, tequila, my knee, calamity. Usually I move on in some fashion or another. Sometimes not. Only time will tell.

Earlier this summer I ordered a big cedar planter on line and planted two measly tomato plants and a pepper plant (respectively, Joaquin, Bruce and Pepe). I got a late start (blame it on the knee and the tequila) and had meager hopes for my teensy garden. In fact, in a knee-jerk act of proactive self-defense, I pooh poohed myself here

Well, I needn’t have gone to the trouble, because those tomatoes pictured above in my oddly chunky looking hands are the first of my harvest and they are freaking delicious! They burst in your mouth like little ampules of summer and there are a lot more where those came from.

The ever potent and mysterious confluence of sun, rain and neglect has yielded tremendous, bodacious, GIGANTIC tomato plants. Joaquin and Bruce have completely muscled out poor Pepe, who despite a lack of sun and nutrients, has still managed to squeeze out a few lovely peppers. Joaquin and Bruce scoffed at the cages I got from Ivory Tickler and are growing out of control, every which way. They are muscular, unruly, borderline intimidating. They look like they could snatch a small rodent scuttling by, eat it and use its tiny bones to pick their teeth. They look like they might grope you, should you walk by with a short skirt on. They look like thugs, unsavory characters, major bad asses. And they are loaded, loaded with tomatoes. I am fearful, but I am proud. I love them. Come see them. Just watch your ass as you come through the gate.

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