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Carol Perkins: Mr. Perkins has become a tomato farmer

He's a limited edition farmer now, but already he has plans for bigger things plans in mind.
The next earlier column: Carol Perkins: How pant suits have changed lives of women

By Carol Perkins

Guy has become a tomato farmer. A limited edition one since he only set out three plants. He has tried this another time only to grow a couple of tomatoes. "Why don't you drive over the Farmers' Market and buy all you want?" I asked. He assured me they were not the same. One afternoon, he came home with his three little plants and asked my advice about where to plant them. "Why don't you put them in my flower bed where the soil is better since I have enriched it so much over the years?" Off he went with his spade and his plants.

Every day he checked on his plants. In a few weeks, he placed wire frames around them. As I watched from a distance, I noticed that these "little" plants were growing taller and taller. Soon, they consumed my flower bed. "What kind of tomatoes are these?" I asked.

"Big Boys!" I knew enough to realize they were not finished growing. In a few more weeks, they were taller than I. "How much taller will they get?" I asked, knowing my flowers were going to be overshadowed by these monsters. He assured me they would soon reach their peak. I watch them from my bedroom window (where the flower bed is) and think of Jack in the Beanstalk.

Each day I get a tomato report. "The vines are blooming. I spotted five tomatoes today." I'm thrilled for him. I still don't know why he shunned the idea of the Farmers' Market. One night when we were having dinner, he was watching the squirrels playing in the yard. "If one of them gets into my tomatoes, he'll be in the frying pan by morning." Unless he planned to kill, skin, and fry a squirrel, the squirrel was safe.

"Next year I think I'll set out some onions and maybe some carrots. Wouldn't it be nice to go out and pull up what you want?" I think the man is locked in an old Western movie. Next he'll want to cut wood and light an oil lamp. All jokes aside, there is nothing better than fresh garden vegetables. However, I have never been a garden person so people like me support our local markets. When the tomatoes are ripe, I'm sure I will swoon over them as if they are the best in the world, but if I say too much he'll take over every flower bed in the yard. That might not be a bad idea.

This story was posted on 2018-06-27 18:49:19
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