Story of Our Tomatoes
Beginnings
There are lots of reasons to grow tomatoes; their taste; their beauty
and variety; their healthiness. For me it is all of the above, but
mostly the emotional satisfaction I receive by growing things well
and putting them into the universe. People just love tomatoes. They
smile when you mention that you grow them. They smile when they
eat them, and they smile when they tell you stories of their parents
and grandparents and how they grew them and loved to eat them
and their favorite ways of preparing them. When you give someone a
great tomato or several, a warm smile and bright eyes are seldom far
behind.

And I am not far behind. I will never forget the look on my dad's face,
that beautiful smile, when he sat at the kitchen table, bare-chested,
as he ate his first serving of the tomato and onion salad he just
made from the tomatoes he just picked. Smiles like that were few
and far between. From deep within. The kind that makes a person
look young. The kind that brightens the eyes and removes creases
and fills a room warmly. And I remember how joyful he was in
preparing the garden beds and carefully planting the tomato plants.
There were not that many, as I recall, but quite enough for our family
of five back in the fifties and sixties. My dad planted tomatoes and
dahlias. And so do I. The memories of working along side him and of
his smile warm my heart still.
And so do my present activities. I love talking to people about their gardens,
and what they love about their tomatoes, and what kinds make them happy. I
try to make sure I have the plants they like and that they choose plants that
are likely to please them. Delivering beautiful tomatoes is great fun, too. At
first, we just had a few varieties, which I bought at Lawrence's, a fantastic
greenhouse grower in New Bedford. The standards, Big Boy, Better Boy,
Early Girl, etc. But then my neighbor, Jason Falk, pointed me to a different
world, the world of heirlooms; Brandywine and Mortgage Lifter, as I recall.
He helped me build two raised beds for them. And I was off. That was in the
mid eighties in North Dartmouth. We would grow six or eight plants, more
than enough for us, but somehow the beds always seemed so crowded. And
trees kept growing taller and shadier.

After a serious surgery in 2003, things started to change. A different energy
and perspective. I found our new house in South Dartmouth when I came
here to learn Yoga to rebuild myself. The instructor and her husband, Carol
and Doug Sickul designed and built the open Asian style home. I loved it
from the moment I stepped in. The walls overlooking the river and fields are
glass. Whenever I step into the house, I am invigorated. My spirit soars and
everything else disappears. A runway to heaven. A place to inhale the
energy and light of this world and cure my soul. And eight acres of a former
cattle pasture to create gardens, grow and share. Eighteen months later we
moved in, as the last snow of March, 2005 started to fall.