Farm Fresh

… Fresh on to the farm. Here is an occassional chronicle of a new family in a small town.

Ode to the Tomato

Unlike many gardeners in this area, we had a plethora of tomatoes this year. I am still undergoing tomato management as the last of the green ones continue to ripen on my counter.  I am contemplating throwing them in the compost but I love tomatoes so much, it hurts. Instead, I fear they will shrivel up and even worse, get moldy on my counter top. If I can, perhaps I will attempt to make tomato paste.

This year I was able to dabble in canning and after 5 or 6 failed attempts (I know, it’s supposed to be easy), I have now 8 quarts of plain tomatoes, some salsa and a good stash of the dried little guys.  This does not count even the fresh ones we have consumed and/or given away. In summary though, I will not plant as many romas- they were mealy and flat in comparison to the black beauty and other heirloom varieties we planted.  I definitely want a beefsteak, a couple cherries and some good old fashioned salad tomatoes. And although our cages worked, even the 36″ proved too small so we may be going up to 4′ next summer.

I found this poem from a favorite- Pablo Neruda to close out the tomato season:

Oda al Tomate

 

La calle
se llenó de tomates,
mediodia,
verano,
la luz
se parte
en dos
mitades
de tomate,
corre
por las calles
el jugo.
En diciembre
se desata
el tomate,
invade
las cocinas,
entra por los almuerzos,
se sienta
reposado
en los aparadores,
entre los vasos,
las matequilleras,
los saleros azules.
Tiene
luz propia,
majestad benigna.
Debemos, por desgracia,
asesinarlo:
se hunde
el cuchillo
en su pulpa viviente,
es una roja
viscera,
un sol
fresco,
profundo,
inagotable,
llena las ensaladas
de Chile,
se casa alegremente
con la clara cebolla,
y para celebrarlo
se deja
caer
aceite,
hijo
esencial del olivo,
sobre sus hemisferios entreabiertos,
agrega
la pimienta
su fragancia,
la sal su magnetismo:
son las bodas
del día
el perejil
levanta
banderines,
las papas
hierven vigorosamente,
el asado
golpea
con su aroma
en la puerta,
es hora!
vamos!
y sobre
la mesa, en la cintura
del verano,
el tomate,
astro de tierra,
estrella
repetida
y fecunda,
nos muestra
sus circunvoluciones,
sus canales,
la insigne plenitud
y la abundancia
sin hueso,
sin coraza,
sin escamas ni espinas,
nos entrega
el regalo
de su color fogoso
y la totalidad de su frescura.
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Filed under: Garden

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