Still Juicy After All These YearsSeptember 12th, 2010 © by Susan Swartz
Sam Sifton in the New York Times Sunday magazine rhapsodizes on last of summer tomatoes – “Wide and cracked, heavy with the captured humidity of passing summer, each one a Neruda poem shedding its own light, benign majesty.”
He goes on: “What you want from those tomatoes: heft….The taste should run sweet, with a bang of acidity.”
Is that not just how you want to be described?
How about this? A garden writer urges her backyard farmers to not give up on the older plants just because they seem to slow down and get a little wrinkled at the end of summer. Never mistake them for being unproductive, wrote Maureen Gilmer, in a story distributed by Scripps Howard News Service.
Making the link between late season veggies and their human counterparts, Gilmer noted that we rarely see pictures of food gardens this time of year because they’re not as pretty and shiny as they are in early summer.
But she urges, “A well tended tomato plant will age gracefully, remaining active late in life, just like we do.”
That’s my kind of metaphor. Juicy Tomatoes – ripe, a little sun damaged, but still on the vine. It gives me encouragement when I look in the mirror or have another birthday.
So when I come across like-minded images I scribble them down.
From a poem called “Tomato” by Robert Samarotto.
“Filling ourselves with sun saying – take me- take me.
Limbs bowed under the weight of us. We endured the harshness of the season and waited our turn – waited our turn.”
And this quote that someone sent me with a picture of “The Great Tomato Diva” by artist Lynn Pollock Marsh.
“Look beyond cosmetic appearance. Look to the soul, its nutrition. Ripeness is all.”
Stay juicy, my friends.