Home Grown with Love

So, tomatoes are my thing.  No, really.  Like practically the only thing I grow.  There are many reason for that:

1) First and definitely foremost, my family.  I grew up in a small apartment in Los Angeles.  I dreamed of playing in a yard, having a dog, and more importantly having a garden.  In the summer I would go back to New York and stay with my Italian grandmother for a week or so.  My grandmother was everything you would picture from a stereotypical, New York, Italian grandmother.  We had to eat and pretend we were enjoying every bite of our food, love each other, and help out in her garden.  She basically only grew tomato plants, and lots of them.  This was important to her because, during the depression era that was our family's way to survive.  Grow lots and lots of tomatoes, make sauce with them, and can it for the basement.  I loved being part of that.  So much so, that I even tried growing tomatoes when I got back to my apartment in boxes my mom got from selling Avon on our front walkway.  Needless to say, the boxes rarely lasted long enough for my plants to grow fruit.  So as life moves on and I finally have somewhat of a tiny suburban backyard I rejoice with excitement to be able to grow my own tomatoes.

2) If your family loves tomatoes as much as mine, growing them yourself saves us so much money!  The average price for a pint of grape tomatoes at my local grocery store averages $2.50 (and it's never even filled all the way!).  I buy one to two pints a week for my salads, dinners and for my kids to snack on.  That could be almost $20 a month on tomatoes that don't even taste nearly as good as home grown ones.  Growing your own can save you big $ over time depending on how much you grow.

3) This year's crop was a little different.  during our stay at home orders I was obviously home more and not only started my seeds earlier than in years past but also paid better attention to the needs of those small plants.  I used seeds from years prior and drilled holes in the bottom on our discarded yogurt cups to start them in.  Not only did I not have to leave the house but I also saved money using what I already had.  I grew so many tomato seedlings that once I figured out how many I needed and had room for I gave away the remaining 20 or so plants to my neighbors.  I posted the free plants on my neighborhood facebook site and they were gone in about 30 minutes.  Not only does it feel good to have a hobby that pays for itself, is healthy but also helps out others...win-win-win!

I'll be posting more as my garden continues to grow.
Gardening, helping me find that balance.


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