Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Apples of Love

In the South, growing tomatoes is a genuine pasttime for many people. Folks swap stories about the best varieties to grow, when to plant, how to plant, manure or's an art. You hear tales about plants so tall you had to pick the tomoatoes from a ladder. (My dad actually had one this tall, honest!) People brag about their tomatoes more than their grandchildren.

One of our local banks recently held a Customer Appreciation Day, and everyone who came got a free tomato plant. My husband's 96-year-old grandfather decided we should all go and get our free plants, so we did. That's the luxury of being 96. When you tell people to do something, they do.

The bank actually gave each of us a little six-pack of tomato plants, so we came home with thirty. That's a lot of tomatoes. They are Park's Whoppers, by the way.

Late that afternoon, Granddaddy headed back up to the bank to "see what they had left." He returned shortly with 54 more plants. They were cleaning up and gave him some of their leftovers.

That would bring the grand total to 84 tomato plants.

That afternoon we dug 84 holes and planted those tomatoes with Granddaddy sitting in a lawn chair watching us and laughing the whole time. He loved every minute, and so did we.
So far, we've lost six of the plants. It's rather sad, but we feel that the remaining 78 will likely produce enough tomatoes for us and our closest friends and relatives, maybe even enough for your closest friends and relatives.

Can you say, "Salsa"?

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