Global warming means I’m planting winter tomatoes. Four years ago, I had my first batch. Late September I bought a patio tomato and a cherry tomato at Home Depot. I threw a bag of good compost on each of the raised beds and planted the tomatoes.
They grew. The crept down the stairwell and across the driveway. They were monster tomatoes, producing hundreds of juicy, sweet fruit. I picked the first in November and in desperation, to reclaim my porch, ended the rout in May. That is six months of tomatoes.
This year, I again planted in September. Dwight and I thought about tying them up which is a recommended practice, but there is something appealing about my tomatoes’ brio. They ramble outside the raised bed. The vines are thick and strong. They want to mesh with the roses that are in a planter behind them.
I search for the red fruit. Finding clusters of cherry tomatoes is fun. It brings joy into my life. Likewise, do the larger Ace tomatoes bring joy. Intentionally, I do not stake these tomatoes up. There is a wildness to them that appeals to the wildness in me, a part of me that does not want to be restrained.
There is a lot going on in our world. I feel uncertainty about navigating through the cultural changes, through using plural pronouns to describe gender identities, about weak leaders whose ideas about our country are, in my opinion, destructive and divisive.
How fortunate I am to have these riotous tomatoes. Let them grow. I will not train, restrain or limit them. They are the voice of my alter ego, the one that says “Enough of this. You cannot have my freedom. You cannot tell me what to think.”