Posted by: cassymuronaka | August 22, 2011

Note to self: buy less tomato plants next year

Every year my gardener begs me to not to plant so many tomatoes, accurately stressing the need for crop rotation, but every year I stick my fingers in my ears and go “lalalalalala” back to him.

Then I march out and dig up a new area in my backyard where I can stash more plants, leaving barely a  3′ X 3′ square of garden to renew itself.  If that.

Next year will be different. I’m on overload with processing and preserving tomatoes. Cherokee Purple, Green Zebra, Lemon Boy, Mr. Stripey, Big Beef: I’m done. Finished. Kaput.

The 2011 harvest has been so bountiful that I have had very little energy or time to actually eat tomatoes.  Instead, I spend my time seeding, juicing, milling, cooking down, freezing, vacuum-sealing, oven-roasting and dehydrating them.  Last Saturday, I put in 10 hours at the Cassy Muronaka Heirloom Tomato Processing Plant. If you had opened one of my two refrigerator freezer compartments, at least one large heavy Rubbermaid container of cooked, fresh-frozen tomatoes could have fallen out and broken the bones of both of your feet.

But this is it. The harvest is winding down and so is my desire to keep as many tomatoes as possible from over-ripening in the hot sun or being claimed by the eager snail population. No longer will I forgo my morning coffee to grab a bucket and struggle to lift the long weave of green branches that have spilled over the tomato cages onto the ground of my backyard, searching for fruit that has not been ravaged by hungry mollusks.

Instead, I’m hopping out of the hamster wheel. I’m going to read my email, leisurely grind my Peet’s French Roast coffee beans, pick one tomato in the afternoon, make BLTs for dinner, and not think about the snail army that will continue to march towards the remaining ripening tomato plants when I sleep that night.

Next year, I will try to restrain myself from becoming a slave to my own green thumb.  I will purchase half the number of plants that I did this year, but enjoy them fresh off the vine twice as much.



  1. Cassy, they’re beautiful! And I’m so bloody envious. I only planted 4 tomato plants this year. And 3 of them were determinates! Dumb move. Next year I’m planting double. Maybe I’ll build myself a self watering Earthbox or two.

    Still, your tomatoes are wonderful. Salsa forever!

    • Come over for pasta and fresh tomato sauce one night!

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