Thursday, March 4, 2010


I was watering all my summer starts today when I noticed two tiny little green heads poking out of the potting soil. It's always such a good feeling whenever something starts to germinate, because when ever I start a flat there's always a nagging little fear in the back of my mind that somehow I'll screw it up or the seeds will be defective and I'll have a massive crop failure. So, YAY!

It's also just frustrating because tomatoes take FOR-EV-ER to grow. Those little sprouts over there? If I'm lucky I'll be able to start picking from them in early August but probably won't get a serious harvest until about mid to late August, so, all in all they need to grow for close to 6 god dang months. And then you only get to eat them fresh off the vine for like two, maybe three months because the plants keel over at the first sign of frost. But OH. MY. GOD. IT IS SO WORTH IT. I just keep imagining fresh tomato caprese with homemade mozzarella and going, ugggggggghhhh why isn't it summer yeeetttt.

I'm also excited because those first little tomatoes are actually my all-time favorite tomato variety ever. They're called Paul Robeson, which is a Russian heirloom variety that originated in Siberia and they are effing delicious. It's named after the African-American actor/singer/pre-Civil Rights activist of the same name. After he traveled to the USSR to perform he fell in love with the place and OH BOY did the USSR ever love him back. He fiercely defended their brand of socialism, to the point of being a Stalin-apologist. Which is, you know, really not so great, but he did do some amazing peace-activism, and worked to bring an end to Jim Crow and even went to the United Nations and charged the US with genocide for failing to stop all the lynchings that were taking place. I, and I'm sure many others, had never heard of him before thanks to good ol' McCarthyism (his music/movies lost distribution, his passport was revoked, he was under FBI surveillance for decades and was, quite literally, erased from history books.) Thank goodness some little old Russian farmer remembered. Who knew you could be schooled by a tomato?


  1. Very cool. Of course, now I really, really, really want a real tomato. I got some pickled green ones from the food co-op winter share, but I've been too afraid to try them yet. Maybe today will be the day.

  2. That's so cool that your CSA box includes things like pickles! I'd actually never had a pickled green tomato before either until this past year. Just looking at them it's like, ehhhh, nooo thanks. But considering how much I love pickled stuff in general I should have known better, cause when I finally gave in, it was like, holy shit this is awesome!