A Farewell to Produce

I harvested the last of my tomatoes this morning. To be honest, I’d forgotten about them in the last couple of weeks – I don’t usually associate Hallowe’en with bringing in the sheaves – but I wandered out this morning to enjoy the frosty sunrise and spotted a few lonely fruits on the vine.

I love fresh, sun-warmed tomatoes, so I treated myself to 2 roma and 2 cherry tomato plants last spring. The romas were a disappointment – between them they produced 3 smallish tomatoes. I figure, based on the $1.99 I paid for the plants, that my romas cost me 8 bucks a pound. The cherries were a little more prolific, averaging 4 or 5 miniscule tomatoes a week (I learned this morning that MonkeyBoy had been helping himself regularly when I wasn’t looking, so they may actually have produced torrents of red fruit – doubtful, though, as I would have spotted them when they were green). Still, it wasn’t the quantity, it was the quality - and the scent of the plants, and the pleasure of picking them myself and popping them into my mouth, still warm and fragrant.

But as the warm weather faded, I forgot about the poor things. So I was most chagrinned this morning to discover that, despite my neglect, my faithful Lycobersicons were still standing. The recent frosts had killed off most of the leaves, and withered the weaker branches, but one valiant plant still sported a few hopelessly optimistic flowers. There were 3 ripe cherry tomatoes and a cluster of pea-sized green ones, half a dozen maybe, and one pale orange roma – 75% of my harvest from that plant.

As I collected my bounty and turned to go back inside, I spotted a few strawberry blossoms in the next pot. My garden is populated with brave and hearty souls – I feel humbled in their presence.