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@rustingbridges replied:

tomatoes really don’t travel well

they’re one of the fruits where the supermarket variety is the supermarket variety because it survives the trip, not because they’re good

meanwhile tomato plants are really low effort. if you have favorable conditions you can do literally nothing

Where are you *finding* conditions that aren’t full of weeds and wildlife-competing-with-you-for-the-food and the occasional blight? A greenhouse?

(…actually, that might not be a bad idea. I *have* heard of people building little personal greenhouses in their backyards, and nothing keeps squirrels from taking one bite out of your mom’s tomato and walking away like a fucking *door*, right?)

Re: surviving the trip, home-grown zucchinis taste about the same but we’ve noticed the shelf life is *vastly* longer. Store-bought zucchinis start to shrivel up and go soft within a few days of bringing them home; home-grown zucchinis can sit in the fridge for several *weeks*. Makes it a lot easier to plan your meals.

Honestly, probably a good part of my problem with gardening is that, because *Mom* loves home-grown tomatoes for some fucking reason, they end up the focal point of the garden and a great deal of my gardening-related labour is thoroughly alienated: I never see the fruits *or* the vegetables of my labour.

A garden optimised for what *I* thought was most worth growing would have zero tomatoes and more garlic and zucchini, with perhaps just enough potatoes to keep in practice so that I can put potatoes in the victory garden. And probably more perennials like mulberries. And possibly mushrooms. And I would want to do a bunch of research and expert-consultation regarding which weeds are secretly edible, since anything *that* easy to grow sounds like something I should take advantage of.

(I’ve been meaning to do some more digging into how to eat dandelions. I’ve heard you can put the new greens in salads and the petals in pancake batter, but I don’t normally eat salads *or* pancakes. Can you just, like, munch on a raw dandelion flower straight-up? Can I fulfil my childhood dream of eating a pretty flower I found in the backyard?)



@larshuluk replied:

Yeah, you can just munch any part of dandelion – I often do that when I’m reading in the garden. Older leaves get bitter and shouldn’t be eaten in big amounts, and roots need cooking. Flower is just fine though.

Hell yeah!

This is another area where I like a lot of the things the communing-with-nature people are putting out but for completely different reasons. I want to know more about the natural world around me *so that I can exploit it better*. Which wildflowers can I eat? What’s the name of that one plant where when you run through a field of them it sounds like popcorn popping? Can I eat those too?!

(I never stopped wanting to stick interesting plants in my mouth: I just learned to resist it, to assume everything was poisonous until proven otherwise. And for the most part, nobody ever taught me which interesting plants I didn’t have to resist.)



I never stopped wanting to stick interesting plants in my mouth: I just learned to resist it

i never learned this and im still alive. i like to think it’s made me stronger

as for tomatos I don’t think you have to do that much? if your soil and weather conditions are good you can just put the seeds in the ground and come back later to find that you have a giant cherry tomato bush which is overrunning the rest of your garden and that produces way to many tomatos for any ten people to eat

if you don’t have this you might need to water them? I remember watering tomatos. most of the weeds around here don’t get tall enough to fuck with tomatos much. if it’s a major issue you can put them in pots I guess. we never had trouble with squirrels, altho we did have to stop growing tomatos in the backyard because one of the dogs ate them all. I don’t grow many tomatos because I don’t like tomatos, but fresh ones really are better.

idk about potatos specifically but I think durable transportable stuff like potatos and onions is the relative advantage of actual farmers. relative to growing fragile vegetables that kind of thing is probably only worth doing to the extent you’re having fun with it



My mom has tried to grow tomatoes pretty much every year for the past 10+ years and we have had very few home-grown tomatoes to eat

It might be where we live– people not from here think you can grow anything in Georgia but the summer heat really is too much for a lot of plants to handle. The state was also plagued by droughts for a lot of my childhood.

We also had a lot of Critters come sample the garden. Deer, squirrels, rabbits, tomato hornworms, etc etc etc. It always made my mom SO dismayed to come outside one morning to find that a deer had chomped off the entire top half of her biggest tomato plant, but you’d think she would have learned to expect it after about the fourth time

We DID sometimes get to eat the tomatoes if we picked them while still green and then used them for fried green tomatoes. Fried green tomatoes are really delicious. It’s just not what we had wanted to have when we planted tomatoes!



I’ll admit I don’t know anything about Georgia. I think it’s where depressing movies about plantations take place. it produces SCAD students. there’s a big airport I’ve never connected thru.

I asked my mother about tomatos and her opinion is that they’re easy to grow but you have to water them very regularly or else they’ll be sad and also blighted. this is maybe extra true if it’s very hot and sunny, which I’ve been told is the case in georgia. conversely farther north you may have trouble getting enough sun? that could make tomatos slower, maybe

idk about deer. the three places I’ve grown tomatos were:

  • suburb, but not near the forest so no deer. plenty of squirrels and rabbits but they were never a problem
  • fire escape. only cats and pigeons, neither of which are much trouble for tomatos
  • middle of nowhere. shitloads of deer but in the summer they just eat stuff in the forest. huge problem for slow growing perennials but not so much for tomatos


#food #gardening #conversational aglets #poison cw?

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