Growing tomatoes should be listed as a national sport in Australia
It is quite a physical activity. Fertilising and preparation, then the planting. It takes a lot of back bone to get to that point. Then there is the constant weeding and staking.
Now that the drought has broken and we are allowed to water plants again, the familiar ragged fronds can be seen poking out over fences. Cherry varieties hanging in baskets and pots perched on the balconies of apartments.
It is a competative business, often shrouded in mystery. Its not for lightweights, riding the highs and lows of growth,flowers and fertilisation. Then finally,joy, the appearance of tiny fruits which must be guided and protected.
Neighbours peer over the fence at the fertile, robust plants on the other side. Speculation over the kitchen table...'they must have bought those expensive seedlings,not raised them from packet seed?' 'Sheep shit?' 'Horse manure's no good for tomatoes''Seaweed fertiliser, but before they fruit...'
The truth is in the tasting. Although we have only harvested a few small fruits so far, they taste like tomoatoes. They have a luscious,fresh and cool flavour. Makes you realise how fake and fridged the super market variety is.It is great to get your hands dirty,inhale the fragrance so unique to those plants and fill a basket with plump red tomatoes.