Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES Verdant, fertile Idylwood, where the crops come in like weeds: Tomato season started early at my house in the East End of Houston this year. It crept in on stealthy little bird feet, thanks to a volunteer plant that chose to sprout next to my veteran Tabasco bush. I was thrilled when I spotted the familiar tomato foliage–as excited as if someone had sent me an unexpected birthday present. The plant soon climbed into sprawly, indeterminate territory, and when a spiral stake proved inadequate to contain it, I just stuck a busted-out old tomato cage nearby. Martha Stewart would not have approved. When the yellow flowers set fruit, I surmised I’d be harvesting cherry tomatoes. Still, it was a surprise when–a little over two weeks ago–I realized the tiny yellow globes were not going to get any larger or any redder. They were the size of gooseberries, ripened to a clear, sunny gold, and they were ready. Each popped with spurt of tart juice and a vegetal aftertaste that seemed to roughen my tongue. At the moment, I was convinced they were the best tomatoes I had ever tasted.” [Cook’s Tour]

2 Comment

  • I’ve have a great crop of volunteer cherry tomatoes so far this year. So sweet! really exceeding expectations: Maybe a wet spring/late heat is the trick!
    Specifically, they are thriving where Ike took down my shade oaks.
    Also there are no hookworms, I guess because their larva are not in the soil there, as it was never a garden before (because no sun prior to Ike!)
    Ah! Nature working in – you know – whatever ways she wants to…

  • That’s funny! I thought I was the only one who had volunteer tomatoes! I had one grow in a pot that, before the hurricane, held a sago palm under which the squirrels used to lay. It grew a couple cherry tomatoes, which I then fed to a stray box turtle that wandered into my yard.

    Oh the bounties of Oak Forest!