#30 Grow Tomatoes

Three days. I had them for only three days.

My dad has always joked that when I eventually own property I will ask how much it would cost to pave my yard. I’ve never really cared for plants. Sure, they’re pretty, but they’re work. You have to know so much about them like their name, how much sunlight and water they need, the best place to plant them. They’re like children. No thanks.

I’ve had a jade plant for a few years in my apartment, but it just got lumped into the collective plants of the house and someone else cares for it. I’m confident that I could keep that plant alive if all the responsibility fell on me, but any other type of plant, I’m not so sure.

And thus, #30 Grow Tomatoes was created. Why tomatoes? Because if I am going to grow something, I want to be able to eat it. “These are from my garden,” I hoped to say as a dropped a barrel of tomatoes on a table in the break room at work. “Take as many as you want. I’ve already canned so many!”

Last Saturday, I headed over to Ricky’s Flower Market in Union Square, Somerville. It’s hard when you have no idea what you’re looking at or looking for. I expected a ton of signage denoting the location of this tomato plant, but I got lost. Juan, one of their incredibly knowledgeable employees, eventually found me and helped me locate one of their plants. It was a tall plant, but the weight of the two tomatoes caused the vines to droop.

“Okay, so now what do I do with it?”

“You need to pot it in a bigger pot and tie it to some stakes.” I just looked at him. He just looked at me, grabbed the plant, and headed towards a work station. “Come with me.”

Obviously, Juan didn’t want me to have the chance to immediately kill this thing.  He re-potted it for me with some soil into a bigger pot and used old stakes to tie the vines up. Viola!

Thanks, Juan! He’s the best.

Once I got the plant home, I read the instructions on the back of the card. Apparently, I was growing Roma Tomatoes. I’ve heard of those.

These Big Mama’s need direct sunlight for six hours. After about fifteen minutes of walking around my yard and house, I settled on a small area of concrete to the right of my stairs for these to grow.

Fearing that this plant would get stolen, much like my bike off the porch in the Fall of 2010, I named her Renee (as in “Don’t Walk Away, Renee (… and into the back of some thiefs truck on trash night)”).

Well, on Monday night the plant didn’t get stolen, but my beautiful tomatoes did. Was it a squirrel? Unlikely, but possible. Was it a thief who threw my tomatoes in to the back of his pick up truck on trash night? HIGHLY LIKELY.

Give me back my tomatoes! Give me back my bike!

I’ve moved Renee inside and I am going to put her with the rest of the house plants. There are no other tiny tomatoes or buds that look like they’re going to sprout into something this season, but I’ll keep Renee around and see what happens next year.

R.I.P.(E.), Renee’s Tomatoes


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