Write About The Tomato, He Said

I was gifted a tomato plant this summer. I really wanted a tomato plant very badly, and a neighbor gave me one in its very own green plastic pot. I bought it a cage when it got big enough to look like it needed one, and that was the extent of my tomato plant interaction.

True confession: I suck at plants. The ones I don’t murder die of neglect. I don’t mean to—I swear. But this tomato gift plant was asking a lot of me that I knew I probably wasn’t capable of. Luckily, my SigO remembers to drench it with a bucket full of water on occasion. The times I have watered it all summer? Once. I’d say it’s more fair to call it SigO’s tomato plant but she gave it to me, not him. I’m not sure if he waters it out of love for me or if it is just that he can’t take another desperate plant offing on his conscience.

For example, I gifted SigO with a potato earlier this year from PotatoParcel.com. It wasn’t for any holiday in particular—I just felt that he really needed a love potato one week, and since the internet allows one to send things like gift potatoes to people without requiring it to be an actual holiday, I did so. Well, he loved the potato so much that he planted it. It made a long and lovely potato vine and then I forgot about it for a week (or so) and it was looking a little piqued so we brought it outside. He watered it regularly and I sent it potato love down into the soil via ESP yet it stubbornly refused to revive itself. Luckily an itinerant squirrel planted an acorn in the pot with the potato and so we told the kids it magically turned into an oak tree.  

So while I adore my tomato plant and was very excited to see it produce several green tomatoes--even though it was planted a little late in the year--I didn’t hold out too much hope for its survival. I know who I am, after all. You will note in the picture that my lovely tomato plant is sitting next to the carcass of an African violet. I’m not exaggerating my planticidal tendencies.

Yet, the plant has survived not only my neglect but also last night’s frost. I’m not sure if frost kills tomato plants or not, but it probably pisses them off to a certain degree at least. I’m also not sure if the chilly night temperatures mean that I should pick the green tomatoes and take them inside, or if maybe I should take the whole plant inside.  At any rate, we picked and ate the one red tomato, in case it is its last. It was delicious. Thank you, tomato plant, for living long enough to provide me with one perfect tomato. I’ll try not to kill you off, but it’s probably better to keep your expectations low. 

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Copyright © 2022 Lara Lillibridge

Public domain imagery courtesy of Snappygoat.com

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