Posted on 09 April 2008 by

April is the Cruelest Month

AprilBy Kira Hamman

OK, so, all the experts say that when T.S. Eliot wrote that famous line he was talking about the despair of the modern age, but you and I know that he was really speaking directly to tomato gardeners.

After all, what could be crueler than feeling the sun on your face and watching the daffodils bloom, celebrating the lengthening days and the first asparagus harvest, yet all the while knowing that it will be months before the first tomato is ripe?

I’ll tell you what — nothing.

With that in mind, I offer here a few ideas to make the wait slightly less tedious:

1. Start your own tomato plants from seed. Watching the little guys grow will give you hope, pride, and a distraction from your current state of tomatolessness. All the things the presidential candidates are promising, but without the annoying phone calls.

2. Make salsa. True, nothing beats salsa from fresh tomatoes, but salsa from canned tomatoes (especially your own canned tomatoes, if you have them) is pretty good, too. In addition to the usual chips, salsa is fantastic on eggs, baked potatoes, black bean soup, grilled fish… most things, really.

3. Read a good book. The $64 Tomato: How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for the Perfect Garden is a particularly entertaining one. And although it’s not strictly about tomatoes, they do feature prominently in their rightful role as garden royalty.

4. Till the garden. I swear the tomatoes can taste the sweat in the soil and grow better when they know you’ve been working hard.

5. Wear red. In fact, you may want to consider painting an entire room red, depending on how bad your craving is.

And, if none of that helps, you can always try a cheap flight to southern California.

4 Responses to “April is the Cruelest Month”

  1. Nancy Bond Says:

    Thanks for the tips. Fickle April is the cruelest month, by the way. “I will show you fear in a handful of dust…”? Of course he was talking about tomato gardeners. 😉

  2. our friend Ben Says:

    Ha!!! Great ideas! Reading up on heirloom tomatoes and choosing a few new ones to try can’t hurt, either. But red–one can never have enough red. Re-roof your house in red tin, buy a red car, paint your toenails red. Buy your dog a red collar, dye your hair. Go for it!!!!

  3. deb Says:

    Great ideas. I think I will read the book. It is too wet to till today.

  4. Michael Nolan Says:

    I want photos when our friend Ben paints his toenails red.

Leave a Reply

Recent Comments