A Tomato Named Bradley

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It all started innocently enough, Ruby, (my car which is a red Toyota Yarus), had a thorn in her foot, (a screw in a tire), and she needed new shoes, (a new set of tires). Since I’m a buy local kind of guy, I went to a local tire store.

As it will be when foreshadowing happens, some random, crazy stuff started to happen. With no fault of the tire store, I had to come back a second day. While Ruby was being fitted with her new kicks, I had some time on my hands. This was a local small business that allowed smoking in the waiting room.

Since this was my second time there, I had no interest in the hot rod magazines I already looked at, and to save my health from second hand smoke, I took a walk down the road to a shopping center. That’s where I met my new friend, Bradley, which the sign said was an heirloom tomato.

I had never heard of Bradley, so I asked my smart phone to educate me. And,  in true smart phone fashion, it did. My other friend Google, showed up with a brief history of Bradley, which is a pink hybrid pink tomato introduced in 1961. Now, in it’s 51 year of existence, it can now be considered an heirloom if the 50 year rule of plant being grown is applied.

Poor Bradley though was shoved into a tray, on the bottom shelf of a large rack, which was in full shade. As anyone who knows me will testify, I feel that I have an obligation to rescue plants. In my heart, I have hundreds of acres of fertile soil with room for all plants, that through no fault of their own, are germinated by the  industrial greenhouse complex, shipped hundreds, if not thousands of miles to end up at a big box retailer that knows nothing about plants.

In reality, I have 20′ x 60′ plot. I did have room for Bradley since this year, I’m doing an intensive type of approach to my garden. It is a very efficient use of my limited resource of soil. Bradley is a tomato variety well suited for canning. Normally, I avoid canning types of tomatoes. For me, it’s the random collection of ripe tomato flavors at any given time that contribute to uniquely flavored sauces. The sauce is never the same twice. This difference of growing a canning tomato provides some good content for me.

Since I look at life  as a story that presents content such Bradley, the canning type of tomato, for the taking, I’m taking it, and running with it. Bradley will now have place in my garden first, and than second, in my next book, as example of a determinate, canning tomato and how to preserve it. My next book will be a tribute to Walden, and my garden this year is providing the content.

At post time, Bradley was not ready for his closeup, so there will be no photo today. I promise though in the next week or two, there will be one though. Ruby by the way loves her new shoes (tires), despite the fact that when I took her out for her first strut, (a trip to see my niece graduate college), the heel, (the tire valve stem) malfunctioned. While I made it to the graduation and back, the next day on the way to my community garden plot, with everything piled in the hatchback on top of the spare tire well, the heel broke (tire went flat). Speaking of broke, so was my hydraulic jack.

The next day the good people at the local shop took care of everything, Ruby loves her new shoes, and I have another good tomato story to share. All is well.

One Comment

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