Thursday, October 20, 2011

not a tomato year

Woe to the tomato harvest of 2011.  

That's all of them up there, practically, and they weren't even that good.  Look at those tiny, sorry tomatoes.  

I blame the soil in those not-really-mine boxes, the weather, and the corn (for taking the hoop house during the critical early summer season).  But mostly, I blame the soil.  The small seed favas that overwintered there were gorg, but because I couldn't till them in, they did little good.  This winter will be a heavily fortified sheet mulch, and next year we will try tomatoes again.  I think.  

There is a part of me that wants to turn my back on the whole idea of summer - the hot, hot days, the pink wine, the endless tomato sandwiches and no-cook dinners, the sprinklers, the dresses.  I am starting to think that these conditions do exist consistently in certain parts of the world, and we in other parts have been led to believe that - like a snowy Christmas - they are essential for summer-time satisfaction.  

I would like to say that I, for one, like the weather in the Pacific Northwest.  I like jeans and boots.  I like canning tomatoes in a not-insufferably hot October kitchen.  I like that this place is mild, in both directions.  Sure, I would love it on Maui.  Hell yes.  I liked stinky, sweaty, sexy New York City summers better than most.  But this is Portland, and it is pretty fucking nice.  

Maybe I would not say this if other people had the same bad tomato year that I had, if we lived in Alaska and a tomato cost $12.  But you can buy them, or you can get them free, or both.  The 25# boxes from Deep Roots were $20 each cuz we bought 100#s.  Rock on.  And the roasted tomato soup I made out of those free and falling apart heirlooms also = rock on.  

So, maybe summer is alright after all.  But I'll be glad to gut those natty boxes anyway, and say goodbye to big tomato dreams til next year.

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