Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The first tomatoes.

This week brought the first tomatoes of the season. That sentence should look more like: THE FIRST TOMATOES!   It is probably the single most incredible farming experience to spot that first red fruit amidst all of the green leaves and green tomatoes yet to be ripe. And then the scent of it. Holding the soft fruit to my nose, the tomato smells of earth and rain. The joy of this actually gives me the chills. It seems that tomatoes also hold childhood in them -- the feeling of summer and freshness and something young.  The giddiness I have for the first tomato is a re-experiencing of how it felt to be a kid with joy for the simplest things.  Behind these sensory experiences, lies all of the hard work that has gone into each tomato plant -- seeding them in February, potting them up in April, planting them in the field in May, trellising them in June, mulching and pruning them in July. They start out as tiny seeds and as if by magic they are six feet tall heavy with pounds of fruit, full of potential for sweetness and tartness and the slight acidity they will leave on your tongue. They have names like poetry -- Aunt Ruby's German Green, Black Prince, Cherokee Purple.

I ate a slice of my first tomato this evening-- a Pink Brandywine, split open at the bottom with all of its juice.

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