Posted on 09 November 2007 by

The Tomato Counter

The Tomato Counter

By Michelle Fabio

Perhaps eighty-one-year old former finance Ford executive Cy Buersmeyer used to be more concerned with bean counting, but now he’s shifted his focus–to tomatoes.

Grape tomatoes, to be exact, from two plants that he bought on a whim at Ken’s Country Produce in Westland, Michigan, outside of Detroit.

Before you hear the final numbers, you should know that Buersmeyer, an admitted very amateur gardener, bought the 12 inch plants as they were just blooming and on May 13 put them outside under glass, protecting them from chilly late spring temperatures in Michigan.

He planted them on May 22 (one with east light and one with south), watered them every two days, fertilized them every two weeks, and scored his first two tomatoes on July 11.

Since then?

– 1,977 picked, eaten, or given away
– 465 green tomatoes plucked from the vine and covered with newspaper in the basement
– 160 left on the vines, not expected to come to much of anything
– 200-300 eaten by chipmunks as Buersmeyer watched helplessly

So, if you’re keeping track at home, that’s between 2800 and 2900 grape tomatoes from two small plants purchased in May.

And look out tomato suppliers–Buersmeyer says he’s doubling his inventory for next year to four plants.

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