Miracles Do Happen

My home-grown tomato

My husband calls me “Black Thumb Jung.”

OK, so maybe I’m not the world’s greatest gardener. I should get an “A” for effort, though. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved planting things, nurturing things, and watching things grow. Only, I’m not always the best at it. Try as I might, I have been known to kill things that are supposed to be indestructible. That includes cactus and ivy. Go figure.

That’s why the beautiful red tomato you see above is a true miracle. You see, this tomato plant isn’t still supposed to be alive. But somehow it is. I planted this Carmello tomato plant in the spring of 2007, along with two other different tomato seedlings. And they all grew. And they all gave me luscious and delicious tomatoes all summer long.

When fall hit, they stopped producing, as normal. When winter hit, they started to shrivel and droop. And when the rains came, I began to totally ignore them, figuring come next spring, I’d just dig them up and replant new seedlings like I always do.

It wasn’t until mid-January that I noticed it. While the other two tomato plants were goners, this one plant was still green. Not only that, there were actually about half a dozen tiny tomatoes growing out of the blossoms. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Plants I carefully tend and worry over pay me back by dying on me. But this Carmello, which I had not watered, had not fertilized, and had not given the time of day to for months, was thriving.

This tomato is just about ready for picking. I intend to enjoy it simply: Just sliced with a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil, and a tiny sprinkle of sea salt.

And when I’m done savoring it, I’ll raise a thumb in triumph — one that’s, thankfully, not exactly ebony anymore.

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  • Ronnie Campbell

    Congratulations Carolyn! I, too, love to plant although sometimes, it’s not a very successful endeavor. Oh, well, you and Michael Pollan have inspired me and, this year, I’m going to move beyond perrennials and start a vegetable/herb garden in spite of myself. P.S. How did that beautiful tomato taste…bet it was the best. R

  • Thank you, Ronnie! The tomato was juicy and sweet, which is pretty remarkable for this early in the year.

    Oh, for sure, you should plant some herbs. I use mine all the time, especially the basil, shiso, and tarragon. Good luck with your garden. I’m sure it’ll bring you lots of joy and many good things to eat.

  • > you should plant some herbs

    I agree! Having them fresh at hand is a huge advantage. You just can’t buy a whole range of fresh herbs all the time, but you can have them growing. Herbs are EASY, too. Almost no care and most of them grow year-round.

    I recommend everyone grow: Thyme, parsley, rosemary, basil. Marjoram and chives are nice.

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