I’ve been blogging here at From the Soil for just over three years, sharing my gardening adventures with the world. This blog has been a conduit for me to meet countless other gardeners, many of whom have become my closest friends — people that I love and trust deeply. But even among my closest gardening friends, I’ve been keeping a secret — until now. In concert with Steve Bender (of Southern Living’s Grumpy Gardener blog) and Kylee Baumle (of Our Little Acre), I’m officially coming out of the garden shed and declaring that I hate fresh tomatoes.
I love tomato sauce, tomato soup, and tomato salsa. Ever since I was a small child harvesting tomatoes in my grandfather’s garden, I’ve loved the scent that working among tomato plants leaves on my hands. I think the first red blush on a ripening tomato is a thing of beauty. The taste of garden-fresh tomato sauce over pasta is one of my favorite meals. I’ll even eat a fresh tomato on a burger if its flavor is suffocated with ketchup, mayo and mustard.
But I hate the taste of a fresh tomato. There I said it, again. I feel liberated.
In the gardening world, proclaiming a distaste for fresh tomatoes is a bit like talking about the time that Uncle Joe was found wandering down the street, drunk, naked and speaking in tongues. Everyone has an Uncle Joe in their family, but no one dares speak of him in public. Normally, when I’m around a gardener who starts gushing about biting into a sun-warmed, vine-ripened tomato, I simply nod and smile, quietly fighting the nausea creeping up the back of my throat as she describes the experience as the gates of heaven opening as the juice and seeds dribble down her chin.
But not anymore. I now know I’m not alone. Together with Kylee and Steve — my fellow ‘mater haters — I’ll no longer try to hide the ubiquitous tomatoes under a stray lettuce leaf in my salad bowl, ashamed to admit that I’m a gardener without the taste for tomatoes.
Who else shares this seedy little secret? Join us. We’ll share our lettuce.