On May 31, 2012, I got an e-mail from my nephew, Mark. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island. It’s urban. His note follows:
Dear Aunt Tomato,
I adopted a shriveled tomato plant today.
Someone at work was giving away a bunch of plants. I got the last one. It looks like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.
I’ve been feeding it chia water.
What is your expert advice?
I provided the usual “expert” advice; hydration, soil high in organic matter, maybe a few crushed egg shells in the dirt to help increase calcium and reduce the chance of blossom end rot.
Knock it off on the chia water.
On July 7, 2012, Mark sent me this picture:
I couldn’t help but wipe a little tear from the corner of my eye. I try not to hit people over the head with my thoughts and opinions about the importance of growing food. People with a big lump on their heads are usually not interested in picking up a shovel and growing food. My technique has been to grow my own food, share the bounty with others, and occasionally talk and write about my experience. I try to inject a little humor into the process.
It’s true, though, if I can do it, you can do it. Mark Baumer is growing a tomato in the middle of Providence; sounds prophetic and poetic.
I’ll stop now.
The tomatoes are coming.