Here, enjoy this taste of tomato through the Internet. They’re small, just a bit larger than a cherry tomato, but take one into your mouth. Let it roll around your tongue and teeth for a moment. Now, bite down on it. Let it fill your mouth with its juices, sweet yet tangy. Just one will leave you nourished, but go ahead. Take another. We leave the bowl out on the counter and eat them like candy. If you’re old enough, you remember when tomatoes always tasted this good, nothing like the red cardboard you get in the grocery store.
The anticipation began in spring when the first tomato starts appeared at the farmers’ market. When I grow them from seed, it begins even earlier, in egg cartons under grow lights, as the first leaves start to emerge. In late May, when it’s warm enough, I put them outside on my deck. By this time, the plants are already tall enough to need support. In early July, I am harvesting the first fruit.
It’s late summer now, and the tomatoes are just about finished. Here in the Pacific Northwest, tomatoes are the holy grail, difficult to grow because our temperatures remain in a narrow band, never too cold, but never too hot, either. After last year’s bumper crop, friends told me not to expect that kind of production every year. I know they’re right, but I’m too busy eating them to think about next year.
As some of you know, for the past 20 months or so we have been involved with a bitter and nasty legal battle. I can’t and won’t write the details here, because some aspects are still ongoing. However, on Friday, one piece of the battle ended. It’s hard for me to take that in, and my Sunday night sleep was disrupted as it has been for some time. Still, I am freer than I’ve been in some time, and that makes us giddy.
Port Townsend was filled with visitors for the annual Wooden Boat Festival. The monthly Gallery Walk coincides with the festival, filling our little downtown with people and a carnival atmosphere. We ran into friends everywhere we went, and without the expense of a hearing, we spent some of that money on art. Seems like a better use of funds! I include a couple of photos here, and will follow soon with a photo of the third piece we bought — which has its own separate story.
We are deeply grateful to the friends who have stood by us in our difficulty, to the creative atmosphere of our town, and to the garden that always reminds me of what truly matters.
Taste the tomato and see if you, too, don’t feel as giddy as I do.