Do you see this? This is a picture of the rock wall that borders my driveway (with stairs in the background, that lead up to our cozy little cottage). The wall is actually quite pretty (I’m just a lousy photographer); one of those old-timey New England stone walls that you find all over the place in our neck of the woods. The wall gets fun sun, Western exposure, and as you can see, I haven’t been very diligent about weeding it this summer.
Do you see this? A big, sprawling plant, blending in amongst the weeds that line the wall? What do you think it is?
I only just today realized that I have a volunteer tomato plant growing in the driveway. (I was standing in the driveway, saying goodbye to my friend Nadine who had come over to visit for the morning. Ironically enough, we were talking about last year’s garden, and compost, and how well the apple tree was looking… and I caught this flash of red out of the corner of my eye.) For the last two years, I’ve grown tomatoes, in containers, lined up in a row along this rock wall, because the sun beats strongly here and they love the heat & reflection off the wall. Last year, my cherry tomatoes, a Matt’s Wild Cherry variety (grown from seeds that I bought three years ago at Seeds of Change), were the only plants that survived the blight. This year, I find this: a perfectly healthy, if somewhat stunted, volunteer tomato plant. No watering, no fertilizing, hardly any soil to speak of; no obsessing over hornworns, leaf hoppers, or aphids. Just growing there and producing fruit that is busily ripening on the vine.
This year, what with spring/summer trips to North Carolina, California and South Africa that kept me away from home for nearly two months, my garden just did not happen. I’ve missed it; not only the leafy greenness decorating the deck, but the thrill of harvesting your very own food. I can’t tell you how excited I was to find this plant. (I might have jumped up & down and clapped my hands, squealing like a girl – but I’ll deny it to my dying day). I remember telling someone last summer that Matt’s Wild Cherry was the easiest heirloom tomato to grow, in my limited experience. What better proof than this?