I feel a connection with tomatoes, like I get what they want and need as a plant. From seed to harvest I understand how to make them happy allowing them to do what I want, which is abundant fruit production. Now you may think that because I’m a farmer and a “green thumb” that I connect with any crop and all plants produce for me … that’s not true, I don’t know what salad greens want and most flowers don’t grow for me.
So with tomatoes I feel a synergy, in the field I know the plant just wants to grow big and leafy. So I space out the tomatoes’ deep watering stressing the plant to focus its energy on root development. Then when the fruits begin to ripen I turn off the irrigation to encourage more ripe tomatoes. Well the plants have received that message because the field is bursting with tomatoes waiting to be picked. I’ve been harvesting as much as I possibly can, taking loads to the farmers markets and dropping off flats upon flats to the wholesaler. And of course many tomatoes end up in my kitchen. I think my favorite way to serve tomatoes is via a simple tomato sandwich; just toast, mayo, and thickly sliced tomatoes. But I’m also cooking them up in every form I can think of sauce, curry, pasta, pico de gallo, everything’s better with tomatoes.