The $64 Tomato

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy First Day of Spring dear readers. I have been looking forward to the first day of spring for weeks so that I could read this book. I also have a few Spring-related books for next week (I'm sure you're all trembling with excitement).

Today's book; "When the author of this hilarious horticultural memoir plants a large vegetable garden and a small orchard on his Hudson Valley farmstead, he finds himself at odds with almost all creation."

Shallow thoughts:

  • I found the book amusing, but not hilarious as the reviewer claimed - although what's new about that, I rarely ever agree with the reviews. I bought the book on impulse (what a shock) from the clearance rack in a bookstore, a method of book buying that usually ends badly for me. But this time I really enjoyed the book - with the exception of an unpleasant middle part in which the author described putting up an electric fence to keep the deer away from his garden - I would recommend skipping that part if you're an animal lover.

  • Here's your random piece of useless information for the day dear readers: Contrary to popular myth, Johnny Appleseed (whose real name is John Chapman) did not give away apple seeds. He sold them to people - and the apple trees that resulted from those seeds were used not for making something wholesome like apple pie but to make hard cider. That's right, Johnny Appleseed was a traveling salesman who helped people get sloshed. I feel so disillusioned - I haven't felt like this since that time I found out there was really a third sibling on Happy Days.

  • My favorite passage from the book was when the author was describing the results of his attempt to grow apple trees; "The following spring I was rewarded with a few blossoms and one Empire apple. I had raised an apple! Through the summer, my little apple swelled and showed hints of red inside its protective sheath as my family waited in anticipation for the crisp fall day when, dressed in our L.L Bean red-checked flannels, we would descend into the orchard and with great ceremony pluck the literal (and only) fruit of our labors."