August 5, 2006


I am taking a deep breath and counting to ten and going to my happy place. I'm not angry so much as I am really really disappointed.

On Thursday morning I noticed that my very first tomato of the year was starting to turn red. In fact it was red but, I perceived it to be a little orange and therefore figured it would be ok to wait to pick it. Friday was a little rainy so I waited but then first thing Saturday morning I bounded out there to have the lovely little Chadwick Cherry Tomato that I have worked for for two months. I'm pretty sure I even told my brother about it last night when he asked "what are you doing tomorrow?" That's how excited I was.

Needless to say, my heart sank when I got out there and saw that it was missing. It was taken off so cleanly that its hard for me to believe an animal or bird took it. That, plus the fact that it was easily visible from the front of my garden plot where the pathway is makes me suspect a human being. Its only one little cherry tomato so I don't think it was anything sinister. Here are the two theories I have:

1) Little kid who has just finished harvesting tomatoes in a nearby plot with mommy or daddy wanders off, is attracted to my sink, sees the tomato and swipes it thinking he or she is doing valuable work. Damn Kids!

2) Friend of another gardener (who is somehow clueless about the way someone who works to grow food pays attention to these things) is strolling around, checking out all of the different garden plots, sees my tomato and takes it thinking nothing of it. I know friends of mine have walked around and "innocently" wanted to steal other people's food and I've had to stop them and explain the heartbreak I might feel if the bean I'd been checking on every day for a week just disappeared right before I was planning to pick it.

Its also possible that it just fell off but, I really don't think so and, if that were the case then why wasn't it on the ground along with one of the green ones and a few leaves hmmmm?

I definitely don't think another gardener would just take it. If anything we have the problem that some of the gardener's leave town and their food gets enormous or rots on the vine.

Anyway, I guess I've learned some kind of a lesson and lost some innocence. As a result I went ahead and picked my first Nadia Eggplant. Its gorgeous. I'm not going to use it until Monday though and I was planning to wait until then to pick it but, a little defensive gardening every now and then seems in order at the moment.

Meanwhile there is plenty to be happy about gardenwise. I suspect I'll get my "first tomato" any day now.


Carol said...

I'm sure you will get a tomato soon enough as it looks like some more are ripening. In the meantime, if it helps you feel better, you can know that I am very envious of your eggplant. I love eggplant, but mine are still small.

carletongardener said...

I feel so bad about your tomato :(

K-Oh said...

It might have been a raccoon. I often get up in the morning to check on my ripening tomatoes and find that they're gone. Last night, a critter-- and this is in urban Cleveland--took a bite out of a lovely heirloom.

Who knew vine-ripening was going to be so dicey?

Runner Girl DC said...

I'm sorry about your garden theft.. the same thing happened to me! I wrote about it too. I just don't understand people who do that.

I'm happy to see you have some tomatoes now! That's good news.. so there is still hope for my garden.


Deborah said...

1. That makes me so sad and mad at the same time. Grrrr
2. I laughed so hard when reading this. You are a great writer.
3. I think one weekend you should hide in camouflage in your garden and jump out and scare people looking at your vegetables just to add that element of the unexpected when it comes to YOUR garden. (I am kidding of course as this might be a little crazy.)