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Tomato Poetry

May 27, 2011

I’m not much of a poet. Ok, everyone’s a poet in high school, but I mean beyond that.

I did once write a poem here at MyFoodshed, which you can read: Take back the “happy meal”.  (be sure to add your own poem there in the comments!)

But here’s poetry I think writes itself (you have to add your most affected, dramatic poetry-reading voice and cadence – read it with feeling!):

black tula

san marzano


green zebra

cherokee purple

striped german

pink ponderosa

black cherry

The lower-case is a nice touch, don’t you think? Tomato names are just magical! Oh, and then you put them in the ground and the magic quadruples!

This week we put ours in the ground. Actually, we planted them in little seed trays back in the first week of March and we’ve been harboring them indoors under grow lights. They did extremely well and were about the size of redwoods but it’s been so cold we’ve been afraid of putting them in the ground. They did leave the house and were “hardening” in our little outdoor greenhouses, semi-enclosed, but it was high time to take the plunge.

As we were prepping the tomato bed Sunday, Ellen jumped up and declared a “wives’ tale moment” when she described something she’d heard about planting an egg at the roots of each tomato plant. Of course, being flush with eggs because of her wonderful chickens, what else was there to do? Wives’ tale or no, it sounded great, so we raided the fridge and put a beautiful raw, whole egg at the base of each plant. Must be a time-release bit of goodness just when the plant needs it!

Of course it promptly turned cold again, so we’ve got our lovely tomatoes under a warm envelope of floating row cover and we’ve got our fingers crossed!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jerry permalink
    May 27, 2011 10:19 am

    Nice poem, Grant. The names are pretty colorful. Good luck with this year’s tomato crop. As you know I love everything about tomatoes. I love the smell of tomato leaves! Remember my UIC master’s thesis? I’m only growing tomatoes out of large terra cotta pots now due to lack of space in my yard and I run into some yellowing and die off problems that I didn’t have when I planted them in the soil. Still trying to figure that out. Never heard of burying an egg with each plant. Let me know how that goes. My best tips are: plant seedlings as deep as you can in the soil and pinch off top growth after a few weeks to encourage it to bush out. But you probably know all that… Can’t wait to get some new tomato recipes from you!

  2. jkess07 permalink
    May 28, 2011 7:51 am

    I found this via Google:

    “An old trick I use as a timed release fertilizer is to bury a whole uncooked egg under each tomato plant before planting. The plant uses both the calcium in the shell and the sulfur from the rotting egg as it grows.”

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