Progress of the Acre

200 lbs of compost...
4 sq.ft. of the acre sponsored...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ode to the heirloom!

I didn't know what I knew until I someone told me what I already knew I knew.  I was sitting, during "pre-shift" (where all the servers gather to be lectured by the chef about what is on the menu) at Parcel 104 with the same amount of anxiety that I had always had when waiting for the lunch shift to begin.  I was concerned about who would be in my section, whether my glasses were polished, and how shiny the silverware was.  When the chef came out with a little pile of the weirdest, yet still most familiar little fruit I had ever seen.  She went on a diatribe about the heirloom tomato salad that was on the menu for lunch and we tasted several of them.  A lot of the other servers were surprised at how tomato-y they tasted.  She continued to name them with a bunch of names that I barely remember...yellow taxicabs...screaming mimis or whatever...(gardeners are very creative when it comes to the names of things.)  The thing that I remembered most was that they tasted like the same tomatoes I had grown up with in South Carolina, the kind my dad grew in the backyard.  They tasted like tomatoes.  Somewhere along the way, I had forgotten that.  I had, somewhere along the way, like a lot of people, decided that tomatoes should have no taste and merely be filler on my burger or a little bit of color in my salad.  I have since come to my senses and realized that tomatoes should have flavor.  The craze for heirloom everything is not new and that is a good thing.  People have been hunting for them at farmer's markets for quite some time.  I am here to say that they are relatively simple to grow at home with a little effort and planning.  
The reason I am posting this now, in December, is that if you want to do it organically, if you want to grow them well, preparation for the perfect tomato is now!  If you want, you could go and grab something at Home Depot when the weather warms up...It will be pretty.  It will be disease resistant.  It will grow perfectly globular fruit that taste just like the water you use to grow them. 
I am saying take some time right now to start a compost pile.  Get your hands on a few seeds from that same Home Depot and get ready for the warm weather that will surely return.  The perfect tomato starts NOW!

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