For just a moment this evening, the gardening world stopped, at least here at May Dreams Gardens, as I found not one, but two big ripe tomatoes in my garden.
I declared it a tie between ‘German Johnson’ on the left and ‘Beefmaster’ on the right for the honor of being The First Big Ripe Tomato of 2008. It was a rare double-play in the garden, a cause for great celebration.
It doesn’t matter which one I saw first, they both share the honor of being the first tomato. (And having two means that I have also bested Cold Climate Gardening, where they claim to have beat me in harvesting the first tomato. Two beats one, every time!)
I celebrated by eating both of them. In all the excitement, I completely dispensed with the original Ritual of the First Tomato and just ate them both. I ate the ‘Beefmaster’ like an apple, but the ‘German Johnson’ had a few spots on it, so I cut it into chunks and ate it a piece at a time.
I shared with no one.
The gardener who did all the work, who selected the varieties, sowed the seeds, nurtured the seedlings, planted them out in the garden, carefully tied them up and pinched out the suckers, has all rights and privileges related to the first tomatoes and can eat them how she wants, when she wants and even if she wants.
The celebration belongs to the gardener! And here at May Dreams Gardens, that celebration belongs to me!
Yes, they were delicious! Juicy! Tomato-ey! Ripe! Warm! They were all I had hoped for, worth every drop of sweat put into growing them, every moment of waiting for them.
I like to celebrate events of the garden. I’ve celebrated the first crocus, the first lawn mowing of spring, the first lilacs, the first peonies, triumph with peas, victory over the rabbits with beans, the blooming of the night bloomer, and of course, the first tomato.
But the best celebration is always the first tomato. Always.
What do you celebrate in your garden?