Sunday, April 29, 2012

 These teenies are a new variety of tomato for me: Burpee's Big Daddy.

Billed as bearing fruit with the classic Big Boy taste (arguably the best flavor) but with built-in disease resistance, they're just this year being offered as seed. Well, I've given them a try.

I have a thing about tomato plants: I love the smell of them, the fruit of them, the crazy exuberant growth of them. I could no more resist growing tomato plants than I could stop making my own tortillas. What would my yard be like without tomato plants? A wasteland, that's what. Tomatoes are a must-have.

The problem I have with tomatoes is this: I can't resist them. As a result, I usually end up with more tomato plants than I actually should have, but as that number is not fixed ... well, how many cats should a crazy cat-lady have in her house, anyway? Fifty is certainly too many, but four -- is that too high a number? What about six, if she keeps the catbox clean?

The Marglobe Ladies
From seed, I have some of the Big Daddy plants, and some Marglobes (they produced so nicely late last year); I have a bush Goliath tomato in a half-wine barrel (it has six tomatoes on it already); I bought two Romas for Bernie (he eats tomatoes now, after 58 years of hating them!).

But we were at the supermarket last week, and there on the shelf was a tall and rather straggly-looking beast called "Steak Sandwich." I walked away from it, knowing that I had enough plants.

Two days later I refrained from going back over to the store to buy it, but it was preying on my mind. Day before yesterday, we went to the store to pick up a few things, and I was drawn to the shelf of tomatoes. There it was, the very plant, unbought by any discerning shopper.

I rode home, the Steak Sandwich on my lap.

I knew it was an excessive number of plants for our gardens, but I could not pass up the chance. "It was meowing at me," I told the family.

Late yesterday, Alex and I discovered a horde of volunteer tomato plants coming up in the front yard planters, from compost which had junk seeds in it.

With a big grin, I turned to Alex and said, "Look! Kittens! Aren't they adorable?"

Seriously, I have to be done adopting tomatoes.

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