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It’s been years — decades now — since I’ve been able to grow tomatoes. When we lived up north all those years, I tried for a good half dozen years to continue to grow tomatoes. The weather was never hot enough for long enough; the days without frost never spanned far enough apart for a poor tomato to survive, let alone thrive. So I quit trying. This, my first year in the real world, far from the north, I planted 2 lone tomato plants. They have been more bountiful than a warren of rabbits. We’ve been eating tomatoes daily for over a month and there appears to be no end in sight for quite some time to come. Hooray.
Home grown tomatoes remind me so much of my youth. That’s what I grew up with. I don’t think I had a commercially grown tomato until I was in my teens (and that was a very long time ago). My mother always grew tomatoes and in winter we ate canned tomatoes rather than those anemic excuses for a real tomato that are found in produce departments of grocery stores.
My mom would press the fuzzy leaves in her fingers, lifting her hand afterwards to her nose. She’d share that with me. I do the same to this day. It’s one of those scents that explodes with joyful memories. I can’t smell or eat a homegrown tomato without thinking very fondly of my dear mother.