Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Reason #6 That I Hate Autumn

It has been sixteen days since summer ended, and I’m still not over it. Give me time. I’ll work through it. In the meantime I’m mourning the loss of these.A mere three weeks ago, I was still picking tomatoes. Ruby red, juicy tomatoes. God’s gift to the dinner table and the reason southern women wear funny hats and dig in the dirt. And now? They’re gone. Sniff. All. Gone. I can hardly stand it. Now I’m faced with months of those squishy, mealy things the grocery store likes to pass off as produce. Are you feelin’ my pain? Tell me I’m not alone in my grief.

We had 37 tomato plants this year. I know that sounds like an insane number, but the Hula-gen’s love tomatoes. We’ve had as many as 70 plants in past years. We make whole meals out of tomatoes, and we love BLT’s. Remember this? We’ve been known to wipe a freshly picked mater on our shirt and eat it whole while standing in the middle of the garden. When Teen Angel was little, I would often find her hidden in the middle of the plants, with a mouth full of cherry tomatoes and juice running down her chin. We plant them with great care each spring, wait for weeks for them to ripen and then fight over the first ones. The person to swipe the first one always pretends like he didn’t. For weeks we savor their juicy goodness, eating them daily and sharing them with the neighbors. Fourth of Julys, Super Sweets, Big Berthas, Sweet 100’s and luscious grape varieties.
It’s a smorgasbord of acidity.

As September starts to wane and the plants wither, we begin hoarding the remaining tomatoes. We reluctantly pull up the plants as they die, until we’re left with just a few, straggly bushes.
Isn't this sad. This picture was taken two weeks ago, and these plants will go this week. There simply isn’t anything left to pick, and the frost is coming soon. In the refrigerator bin are the few homegrown tomatoes left, and they’re quickly going bad, but we can’t bring ourselves to throw them away.

My heartbeat quickened two weeks ago when I wandered out to the compost pile and found this. If you look closely, you’ll see a tomato plant that sprouted from tossed tomato seeds. It wasn't pretty, but it was green and full of blooms. And when I looked closer I saw this.
Oh my goodness for heaven’s sake glory be in the morning hallelujah brothers and sisters it was small, green grape tomatoes. A gift from God in a big pile of…well, you know. We rejoiced in our luck and watched those little guys turn. Late last week Teen Angel picked a handful of maters off that little plant, and they tasted like gold. With more little green tomatoes simmering on the vine we anxiously waited for them to turn, thinking we would have tomatoes until the end of October if we could keep the frost away. And then, it happened. It’s almost too horrible to speak about. While I was away at work the tree trimmers came to take down a tree in Papa T.’s back yard and came through our yard to get to it. I came home and..and…and..found…this….
My little plant…splat. Squashed. Smashed to smithereens. Dragged to its death. A victim of a big fat bucket truck. Sniff. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.


janjanmom said...

Bucket trucks, who would've thought something so good could be so bad.

oreneta said...

I'll try to send you seeds from some of the tomatoe varieties they grow here, which are to DIE for. and the BLT...I KNOW what I am having for lunch...though I may use allioli

Mia said...

As I read this I could really feel you pain! : ( Yes, children if the label in the produce section says "homegrown" DON'T believe it cause it just ain't so especially after Oct. 1st

Amy said...

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.

And all God's people said, "Amen!"

Rayne said...

Oh, dear Lord! They murdered your heaven sent tomato plant? This is awful!
A pox upon them.
By the way, that is the most incredible BLT I have ever seen in my life.

Kelley with Amy's Angels said...

So I should probably not tell you that I still have tomatoes on my 5 cherry tomato plants?

: )

karisma said...

LOL! Oh dear! My heart goes out to you! My tomatoes are just starting to grow. Let me just say though that your little gift there is exactly how I prefer to grow things! Let nature do it! My father in law has other ideas though he is forever pulling out plants that I would have kept! Have you tried growing some indoors in winter? You never know? My brother had cherry tomatoes growing outside right through winter this year. I was amazed they survived. We don't get snow but it does get frosty in the mornings.

Trailboss said...

I had just gotten over my tomato plants being pulled from the ground last week and I saw this post. I am in mourning again....alas.

dkuroiwa said...

Oh sure...see how you are...there I was feeling really sad for you and all and then....you put that damn incredibly delicious looking BLT picture in there amongst all the sadness....*poof* "feeling sad for HulaGirl" all done!!!