Once upon a time in the tiny postage-stamp spot outside my apartment, I tried to make a garden. The root-bound ground, tempered over time by summer heat and winter freeze, had become impenetrable. I posted this BEFORE photo of my garden spot back in early May. (Click to enlarge it, if you want to see the things I describe.) Since I couldn't dig DOWN, I decided to build UP. See the three bags of deep dark dirt I bought? They are the first of maybe ten or twelve bags I spread in this spot. See the edgers behind the big planter? I used them along the sidewalks, allowing for a couple of inches of new soil. Who knew it takes LOTS of bags of dirt to cover such a tiny space? Not I. Next came the plants, some of which you can see in the photo above. That's a tomato plant in the middle of the big planter. I bought a few plants, and one of my neighbors gave me four left-over green plants that I put in front of the fence. But mostly I wanted to grow tomatoes.
So this is the saga of the tiny tomato. We bought five or six tomato plants, ONE of which grew tall and produced maybe half a dozen blossoms before a big storm knocked off all the blooms and it stalled, nevermore to grow anything. Then one of the tinier plants produced a single tomato. But it's a beaut! See? We first noticed it when it was about the size of the end of my thumb, a tiny perfect green tomato! Wow, we had a tomato!
Now for the "rest of the story," as Paul Harvey says. I was practically on my knees to get that amazing photo of our one and only tomato of the summer. It looks, well, somewhat anemic if viewed from a normal distance, as in this photo. See that red dot in the center of the photo? What, you can't see it? Click on the photo to enlarge it. Yes, that dot, the one that shows up only because I made sure the sidewalk set it off. Donna and I plan to make an occasion of eating this little thing, even though we'll get only half a bite each. And if you don't hear from me again, figure it poisoned me! I'm halfway serious. It has taken this poor little smaller-than-a-golf-ball-sized tomato all summer to grow this big. Because it is now the perfect color, we know it's time to pick it. Gotta go. The little one is waiting beside my Shh! I'm trying to read bookmark.
We picked it, we cut it, we sliced it wafer thin. And it ALMOST covered a cheese sandwich. I ate my half as part of the sandwich, but didn't get a lot of tomato taste because of the thinness of the slices. Donna watched me, saw that it didn't kill me outright, and daintily plucked her three slices off the bread, cheese, and mayo and ate the slices separately. She says the teensy tiny tomato had excellent taste.
The Wildflowers by Harriet Evans
3 hours ago