Saturday, August 8, 2015

The early tomato report

We are bringing you live reporting from my 18 tomato plants in the Dowling Community Gardens. We at clerkmanifesto have been tirelessly updating our tomato plant status on an hourly basis for 78 consecutive days now, producing 1,872 tomato update reports.

So you should have a pretty good idea of what's going on with my tomatoes.

You probably even have a favorite tomato plant that you like to read about, perhaps "Big Red" or "The Mighty Lucy". You've been with me through thick and thin on this one, through paste and cherry, green and orange and fire engine red. Knowing that you are out there following along has meant the world to me.

Wait, what? You haven't received any of my tomato updates?

Well that doesn't sound right. Let me look.

I'm pretty sure that...

Oh no!

I didn't notice this little "send" button! All these time sensitive tomato reports are just sitting here! You missed the night I sat cowering amongst my tomatoes as violent lightning struck and I tried to shield the plants from 60 mph straight line winds. You missed the morning in May when a late frost blackened the lower leaves of my first plants. You missed my candlelight vigil as the first Sungold made its 14 hour march to ripeness and the thrilling account of my first tasting.

I'm not saying it's your fault by any means. I'm just saying there was a lot of tomato plant excitement that it now turns out you missed this summer. Although, fairly speaking, what you mostly missed looked much like this:

2:00 p.m.:

Partly cloudy. Big Red getting the most sun today on the NE quadrant. Several plants seem slightly bigger from the 1:00 p.m. report, but I may be imagining it. If no rain comes tonight will have to water by hand tomorrow evening.

Or this:

4:00 a.m.:

Desperately tired with alarm going off every hour so that I can report. Quite dark tonight still. Cannot really see the tomatoes, though that shape I vaguely see is maybe "Little Sweet Greenman". I can sort of make out its distinctive wandering Southern branch. Excited about sunrise to see if tomatoes have developed under its flowers. Too dark now. Much much too dark.

Ah well, 1,872 posts down the drain. but then, maybe the important thing was just being there.

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