Wednesday, April 9, 2014

i say tomato

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IMG_8853Can I tell you a secret?

I don't like fancy tomatoes. I know, so very wrong for an organic farmer to admit. But I'll take an under-ripe, red, round, firm tomato over a fancy, overly tasty, pulpy tomato any day.

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I think it started way back about seven years ago. We were growing tomatoes in a pretty serious way for restaurants and shops and markets and I was growing Miss Pepper in my belly. And while the tomatoes were blossoming and blooming and growing beautifully, I was sick, sick, sick.

And all through those early months of my pregnancy, my main job was to rummage around through the foliage in the poly tunnel and pick out the juicy, red tomatoes. Sounds like fun huh?

Imagine a hot sunny day, condensation dripping down the sides of the poly tunnel and off the roof and occasionally dripping onto your head or down your neck. Imagine the sticky tomato tar that covers your hands and arms up to your elbows as you reach through the plants to grab the fruit. Imagine thinking you've spotted the most perfect, plump, red tomato and when you wrap your fingers around it it disintegrates in your hand, a warm, overripe pulpy mess. Imagine breathing in that humid hot-house air and feeling like there wasn't enough oxygen for both you and the tomatoes. Imagine the overwhelming smell of the tomato plants and the tomatoes themselves, kinda acidic and sweet and strong. Imagine spending hours and hours, filling buckets and crates and feeling sick and pregnant and gagging and so over everything tomato. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

IMG_8869 IMG_8876Seven years on, every single March and April day I've been spending an hour or two in the poly tunnels picking tomatoes, and that tomato smell and the feeling on my fingers takes me straight back there and I feel a little queasy. Seven years on, while I've still lost my love for the exotic and heirloom tomato, we most certainly, unquestionably have won with our wonderful Pepper Berry. I'll take her over a Cherokee Purple or a Purple Russian any day.

Bye now

xx


23 comments:

  1. Gosh your photos are divine! I laughed at the pregnancy paragraph - you described it brilliantly, it brought back my own pregnancy sickness memories with smells and tastes. Mine was garlic and toothpaste! You've made me smile on my way to cook dinner xxx enjoy your evening.

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  2. God I nearly vomited reading that pregnancy bit. I don't like the smell of tomatoes unless it's cooking.

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  3. Look at those farming hands Kate...you have captured the moment perfectly as always x

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  4. At first I thought "who could hate tomatoes" but when you put it like that I know exactly where you are coming from. In fact, I let everything die in the garden when I was pregnant. Your restaurant tomatoes look to die for.

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  5. We don't ever get to eat our tomatoes. Every time the kids take out the recycling, check for eggs or play in the cubby they come back via the tomato patch. My favourite though would have to be a yellow teardrop shaped cherry tomato.

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  6. If you're going to write more little blogs, I'll try to write more little comments. Still marvel that the blog of a stranger could raise my spirits so much. Love the pics. Love your words. X

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  7. I'll take any homegrown tomato, any day, any time. I am completely besotted by those wonderful hands up there, Kate. Can't stop looking at them. x

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  8. I could totally go for tomato on toast right about now. One of my little brothers first sentences, a list really, was: "toast, 'mato, butter, salt?". Love those tomato-ey photos, but I feel your pain on the pregnancy front.

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  9. Your description was so evocative that I could smell the tomatoes and feel that awful pregnancy nausea. Lovely post as usual; I'm so glad that you are planning on doing more soon. x

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  10. Yum - a pile of freshly quartered home grown tomatoes sprinkled liberally with crushed sea salt eaten off the chopping board at the bench…is the answer to everything!

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  11. gawd you have just put me off tomatoes lol! xxxx

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  12. ahh the pregnancy gag...it's so unique isn't it :-)

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  13. I have to agree with you Kate, mushy tomatoes are never nice. I like the firm really red ones homegrown. Dad used to grow the heirloom ones too at one time that turned a really dark color. I love the little cherry tomatoes, especially when they pop in your mouth. Miss Pepper Berry is definately a keeper too, such a sweetie she is.

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  14. It is amazing how smells can remind us of things. I'm still not keen on peppermint essential oil because I used it when I had morning sickness 17 years ago.

    I also prefer tomatoes that are a bit firm. I don't like the soft squishy ones. xxoo

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  15. I battle a similar aversion to honey. Except not because of any pregnancies (those life joys are yet to come for me). My university job was working the Saturday and Sunday breakfast shift at a boarding school. I would start work at 5am. Often after being on the sauce the night before. Cracking open a 20L vat of honey at 5:30am whenever your feeling seedy is something no one should ever have to do. Strangely, the peanut butter and vegemite vats didn't turn me over. I can see how tomatoes would be a goner. Funny how some smells can just get you.

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  16. Oh that sounds terrible! I'm on my first baby, and I totally get the smell thing now! I'm just glad that here in Oregon tomato harvest will be happening about the same time baby comes, so hubby will have to do it :) When my mother was pregnant and morningsick with one of my brothers, she listened to the soundtrack to the movie "March of the Penguins" almost all of the time. Now every time she hears that music, she feels ill. Isn't it amazing how smells and sounds can take you back?!

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  17. Love the color in those last two pictures! Yes, smells can transport you back - good and bad. For me, the smell of evergreen trees, pine needles warmed by the sun - that reminds me of vacation in Maine. A very good smell.

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  18. Oh, I completely understand. When I was pregnant with my second child, my daughter, my son used to love to watch a programme called Blues Clues. A certain shade of blue and the ghastly theme tune continue to make me feel extremely nauseous to this day, twelve years on.

    If I was only allowed one food to eat for the rest of my life, I'm pretty sure I would choose the tomato.

    Heather x

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  19. The smell of tomatoes is what I miss most about the homegrown ones, though I can totally understand how overwhelming they would be during the nauseous pregnant state. In my last pregnancy I couldn't handle the sight (or even the thought) of cooked onions.

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  20. I Love, love, love your blog!!!! I think I live a life in the country through your posts (as I live just outside a huge city in western Canada) and think your photos are fab. Once my kidlets are grown (not too long now) we will attempt life on a hobby farm and I so hope to have similar experiences being on a farm brings.

    Thank you for sharing your life with the public.

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  21. Love homegrown vegetables and love your photos.

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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