I wrote last week about a tomato bonanza. That was great, but it was thanks to the farmers market, not to our own gardening prowess. This week I will focus on the flip side, our homegrown tomato bust.
I brought it on myself, by boasting in June about our early tomato crop (two cherry tomatoes). The gods listened and punished. Although we had decent weather and no drought, and the plants looked fairly healthy, we never got any fruit from that point on. A few times, big green tomatoes fell prey to some kind of critters -- here today, on the ground with bites taken out tomorrow. Then as summer wore on, even the green tomatoes stopped coming.
We got a few cherry tomatoes now and then, but not a single big one from two plants. Finally the last week of August we noticed one nice green tomato. We desperately wanted to keep it for ourselves, so we wrapped it in a mesh vegetable bag and waited for it to ripen. Finally we would outsmart the critters.
Several days later I stopped by the vegetable patch to check on the tomato. Sure enough, it was turning red -- but it was no longer attached to the vine!
Had a critter jumped on it with enough oomph to detach it? Are people actually smarter than rodents?
We brought the tomato in and let it ripen on the counter. A week later it was ready.
Absolutely delicious -- summer distilled into a single bite. Our entire year's crop on a single small plate.