Tomatoes in November

I live in the Peoples Republic. As such, we have great things like mandatory recycling, bike lanes, and lots of other fun stuff. I also have great landlords. The kind with a super cute puppy who trust us to paint the apartment in colors of our choosing, and have a compost bin out back. I love this. I love putting things in it and I get a strange satisfaction from trucking up from the basement with the pitchfork and turning it over. It helps that I wear aprons often and clogs, I feel like this completes the look (however unstylish it may be). We grow a very few things. Two summers ago, I gave tomatoes and lettuce a try. We had two minor fails. The first where I didn’t realize tomatoes needed cages immediately, and ended up trying to put them in cages that were too small once they were clearly way too large for any such silliness. The second being not realizing that when lettuce “did that funny thing where it shot up in the middle” it really meant “if you want to eat not bitter lettuce, cut that little bastard off immediately.”

And so we learn. Luckily, it’s not imperative that I be a good farmer. Based on last years limited success, I decided this year to be far smarter and just do herbs. I think I mentioned it here… this was somewhat more successful. I did totally forget about the oregano, and the basil kept going bitter, and the mint totally exploded, but overall it was a good thing. Where are we going with this. Right.

So, not feeling like walking home with a bag of dirt, and living in the city and knowing that soil is often contaminated, I thought, ah ha! I’ll just use the compost. And it worked great, really great. Everything grew very well. Including a tomato plant, which I didn’t plant. It planted itself, from the compost bin. Score. I didn’t notice it until late, since it was in the forgotten oregano pot. And then I just thought it was funny, wondering if it’d make tomatoes in time. I forgot about it again.

Then last weekend, I got an email from the landlords who live upstairs – “uh, you have tomatoes?” Right. Ran outside and there they were, mostly green, but what the heck. It was going to frost so I figured I’d bring them inside and see what happened.

And right on the kitchen table, they’re turning red. It’s cracking me up. Tomatoes in November. In Massachusetts. Who’d’a thunk it.

November Tomatoes


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