Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How To Aviod The Sixty-Four Dollar Tomato

In the early years of my youth, I always looked forward to the arrival of spring and the Burpbee's seed catalog. I would read the catalog from cover to cover and dream of growing all the latest varieties of fruits and vegetables. My gardening routine was always the same; late June the soil was prepared, the seeds were planted at the proper depth, followed by periodic applications of life sustaining water.

If you have ever grown a garden, then you know that seldom does the crop you harvest look anything like the pictures you saw in the seed catalog. Even the produce I purchase in my mega-monster grocery store fails to compare. The producers of seed catalogs must employ some sort of trick photography.
Today's photo shows what my garden looked like the third week in June. I obviously will not be feeding a starving planet with my extra produce! As of today, the corn plant are about six inches in height; far short of the Iowa standard of "knee high by the forth of July". This year, I planted a high yield variety of sweet corn that matures in sixty days. It won't have to yield much to beat last year's crop of six stubby-malformed ears. When I cut the corn from the ears, it hardly filled a cup!
So why do I continue to garden year after year? I suppose partly because it's a fun activity and maybe because I believe that this year will be better than the last. Who knows, maybe it will!
If you want learn how gardening went from a hobby, to a passion and then ended as an obsession, check out William Alexander's The $64 Tomato. Trust me, you laugh until you cry.


Earl Moore said...

Wow, your mention of the Burpbee's seed catalog brought back a flood of wonderful memories. I remember spending hours looking through it at all the wonderful things. But I, like you, never grew anything which looked like one of their photos!

I'll check out the $64 Tomato and thanks for the good memories!

Steve Skinner said...


It's great to know that I'm not the only one who grows ugly produce.