Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dad and the Seven Foot Tall Tomato Plant

My Dad loved to grow things.  He lovingly tended his gardens for many years.  And when he could no longer garden, he planted tomatoes in pots on the balcony of his apartment.

One fall he found that a tomato plant had not yet died off as had the others, so when the nights became colder, he brought it indoors.  He continued to water it and it continued to grow.

Dad lived in a town of about 600 people, not ten miles from where he was born.  Everyone knew everyone else.  Knowing Dad, I suspect that he did just a little bit of bragging on his tall tomato plant.  Probably showed it off to some of his friends and relatives who lived in the same Senior apartment building.

Word got around and one afternoon a reporter from the local weekly newspaper came knocking on his door.  An interview was given and pictures were taken.  And Dad and his tomato plant had their 15 minutes of fame the following week when the paper was published.

Some years later I inherited a box full of family pictures.  While sorting them out, I found this one.



That's Dad.  That's the famous tomato plant.  Dad was 5' 5" tall so the plant might look taller than it was.  I looked at the distance between the top of the plant and his living room ceiling.  Looks to be about a foot.  After this photo was taken, the silly plant continued to grow until it touched the ceiling.

We always teased him that it must have been a slow news week when the article appeared in the newspaper.  He just smiled and remarked that he knew of nobody else who had grown a 7 foot tall tomato plant.

I sure miss that old man.

16 comments:

  1. That is one tall tomato plant. Did it continue to produce blossoms?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda...It has been quite a few years so I'm not positive. I think it might have blossomed, but without bees to pollinate, it did not produce any more tomatoes.

      Delete
    2. Vicki,
      I thought maybe he used a Qtip on it to help pollinate the flowers. He seems like a man who would do that.

      Delete
    3. Linda...Dad would have been interested in the fruit while the plant was living on his balcony and producing tomatoes. But once he brought it indoors and it continued to grow, his interest would be to see how tall it would get. I doubt he would have thought about pollination. His fun was in just watching it grow.

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Gorges...He got a lot of fun out of that one tomato plant!

      Delete
  3. What a great story. Love the photo.
    Some of my friends still have at least one if not both parents still living. I try not to be jealous. My Dad passed in '98 and my mom long before that. I miss both so much.

    Thanks so much for commenting on the comments! It really feels like a conversation and I so appreciate it. About the pickles - I found a store brand I like that comes in a 1-liter bottle. I can through it without any problems. Most likely because I eat a lot of pickles...hahaha.

    Off to the garden this morning to check on my asparagus and salad garden. Cheers, SJ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SJ...Dad was always doing something like that and he made me smile more often than not. Mother passed in '96 and Dad in '04. Whenever something happens within my family, I still catch myself thinking, 'I need to call Dad and tell him about that.' I miss my parents, too.

      Comments are part of the fun of a blog for me. I rarely go out these days, so it is nice for me to be able to converse with folks via my blog. There are some I now consider friends even though we have never met in person and aren't likely to do so. You readers are what keep me going.

      I love pickles, too, but tend to go in spurts. I will eat my fill and then not touch them for a couple of weeks. Transferring to half pint jars just made sense to me.

      Oooh - asparagus. One of my favorite vegetables. Duane stopped in last evening and we were talking about what to buy at the Farmer's Market this year. I am the only one here who likes asparagus, but he said he would get me enough to can. I like having a variety of vegetables on my shelves.

      I am going to have to get serious about emptying my chest freezer. There is a vender at the Market who sells beef and pork by the half or quarter of the animal. His prices are good. Duane said he wants us to get half a beef and half a hog this fall. You order it and later go to the Market to pick it up. It comes all wrapped and frozen. Makes sense to me to buy the meat that way rather than a little at a time from the store.

      How fun - asparagus and salad - all from your garden. Takes work, but it is well worth it. Enjoy!!

      Delete
  4. What a great story and memory! Reminds me of the time my grandpa won a bike at a local coffee shop, he posed for a photo for a newsletter or something local and was so proud of that thing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jenn...Dad was the same way your grandpa was over that picture and little write-up in the local paper. He was just so proud. That the article was about something he grew was a bonus. Even now, after all these years, someone at family gatherings will bring up the story of Dad and the giant tomato plant. :) Good memories.

      Delete
  5. There are stories like that in our local paper. I think people enjoy them a lot more than "Hispanics rob local drug store."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Harry...I would rather read about a man and his giant tomato plant than I would about the latest Berkeley protest/riot. They remind me that there are still some good people in this world who just want to live their lives, grow tomatoes and be happy without all the outside drama. Dad was one of those.

      Delete
  6. Unlike you, I do get outside most days. But I have very few friends who have stayed with me either through my divorce or my illness. I'm not whining (much) just stating the facts. So, yes, I look forward to our 'chats' - in the comments and also those of your readers. It is a benefit of the internet that I would not have expected years ago - meeting people on line.
    So, asparagus reminds me of this very cool cookbook I found a few years ago. Author's name is Robin Mather and the title is The Feast Nearby. It's part cookbook and part memoirs on her first year post divorce and restarting her life in her 50s single. See why I liked it? Anyway, her recipes follow what's in season. She talks about creating an asparagus puree from the ends of the asparagus that one normally would snap off prior to cooking. She then puts about 2 Tbs of the puree onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and freezes it. Then bags it up to use later in the year as a base for soup or omelets. I'll let you know how it goes as I've started saving those end pieces.
    Will close here so my comment not too long..SJ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SJ...It is amazing how quickly friends can disappear when the word divorce comes into play or when long term illness strikes. I guess part of it is my own fault. I have have no interest in 'girls night out.' Shopping as a sport is a waste of time. Large crowds make me somewhat claustrophobic. Coffee with a friend at my kitchen table holds much more appeal for me than does outside socializing. Probably a good thing, considering how things have worked out. Not many understand how I can be content here in my little Home Sweet Apartment. But I am. I stay away from the internet 'chat' sessions, but thoroughly enjoy these comments and those blogs where I comment. Once in awhile someone will email me and I enjoy those conversations as well.

      The book you mentioned sounds like something I would like. And yep, I get the part where you would find it interesting. I like the idea of using the tough asparagus ends as a puree. I do something similar with dehydrated foods. For instance, some in my family don't care for pieces of bell pepper in whatever food I am cooking. So I run the dehydrated peppers through the food processor and add the powder to to the dish. I suppose that might be similar to adding puree - you get the flavor without the pieces.

      I am being lazy today. The weather has turned cold again with the temp at noon being 41 degrees. A good day for hot chocolate and a mystery novel. I will get back at it tomorrow with my list of stuff to can. Yesterday I boiled some ham bones down for the broth and the meat still left on them. Tomorrow I will turn that into split pea and ham soup to can. But today, Agatha Christie is calling my name. :)

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. BW...My Dad had the ability to find pleasure in the simple things in life, like a 7 foot tall tomato plant. He was an uncomplicated man and often made me smile.

      Delete