This goes out to my city peeps

I shocked any number of my citified friends with my rodent-bitten tomato-eating. Protests came in from as far away as North Carolina pleading with me to return to something resembling urban life before it was too late.

(I must repeat, for those not in the know: Iowa City is not a city. I love it, but it’s a city in name only…)

But these well-wishing friends, these friends who think I’ve lost all touch with urban reality, should know that is not the case. Let it not be said that I will eat any tomato with a hint of beauty to it.

For example, on Sunday, I noticed this lovely ripe Amish Paste tomato:

“This is my good side,” said the tomato.

However, that tomato was lying in the dirt of the pot next to it, Prodigious moldbecause its particular branch had grown out well beyond the bounds of its own pot, and honestly, I was not going out and buying more stakes this year. I ran out, and this particular branch of tomatoes, I decided long ago, was going to have to suck it up and lie there.

Well, this particular tomato gave me a way-fun karmic payback for my little act of neglect. When I lifted it up to remove it from the branch, I discovered the most amazing fuzzy-moldy rot on the other side that I’ve ever seen.

Although history might suggest otherwise, I want to note for the record that I did not cut off the good part and eat it for lunch. This one went straight in the compost bin, mold and all.

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16 Responses to “This goes out to my city peeps”


  1. 1 Chigiy August 6, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    I want to go on record as saying that I would have done the same thing you did with both tomatoes.

    My family and I are taking are RV To Yosemite tomorrow. Yes, that’s right I have an RV. Quit with the snickers already.

    Anyhow, when I went to clean it and load it up I noticed a mouse had gotten into my toothbrush drawer. Needless to say all the toothbrushes went in the garbage. I could really cut out the mouse damage:( Oh happy days.

    Back to the RV

  2. 2 Katiez August 6, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    One little bite out of a whole tomato? And a nice ripe one at that? Who wouldn’t have eaten it?!?
    As to the moldy one…if it was more than half bad I would have tossed it, too. That’s my personal criteria – the 50% rule…
    Stuff can get really yucky, though, can’t it!
    Didn’t the raw food movement start in New York City? Surely the food is not pristine…

  3. 3 inadvertentgardener August 6, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    Chigiy, I wouldn’t have tried to cut out the mouse damage, either. Blech. Also, there’s something even more rodent-y about something that has been inside a dwelling space (even a mobile one) than outside. Ick.

    Katiez, this one was probably just slightly less than 50 percent moldy, but the moldiness was so foul that I couldn’t take it. Blech.

  4. 4 Ash August 6, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    I have always cut away bird damage, tortoise nibbles, rabbit tastings, whatever, and gone right ahead non-squeamishly. Or, if not wanting to leave the garden right then, I’ve nibbled my way down to the damage, leaving a healthy margin.
    Love your blog; you have lovely pictures and great writing style.

  5. 5 inadvertentgardener August 6, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    Ash, the healthy margin is definitely key. Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the kind words!

  6. 6 steven August 6, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    Meh, I eat tacos made of cow’s tongue, whats a little chipmunk spit?

  7. 8 Carol August 6, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    I’m relieved you have set limits. Ugh, that tomato is definitely compost material. Shoot, it looks like compost already, bleh!

  8. 9 inadvertentgardener August 6, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    Carol, that’s so true…it’s almost pre-compost!

  9. 11 jackiesgarden August 7, 2007 at 10:23 pm

    Glad to hear you didn’t eat half of that one! I am so anxious for hot tomatoes straight off the vine.

  10. 12 inadvertentgardener August 8, 2007 at 8:01 am

    Me, I totally agree.

    Jackie, when do you expect yours to start ripening?

  11. 13 jenjen August 8, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    I was not going to tell this story but…..
    I had a little dog. One day this little dog got ahold of a BIG sugar cured ham and ate about 1/3 of it. off of 1 end. This was a 17 pd ham. I am here to tell you, I took that ham and was cutting it up to cook it after removing the dog spit portions. And I would have done it. except my knife slipped and I cut off the end of my thumb and had to be in a cast for 3 months. The ham went out the back door because the karmic implications at that point were too great, but I would have eaten that ham.
    And in my world a ripe tomato is way more valuable than a ham. I would have eaten it too sister. And it was Gooooood wasnt it?

  12. 14 inadvertentgardener August 9, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    Jenjen, I agree. Ripe tomato? Way more valuable than a ham. But I would have given the ham-eating some serious thought. I’m so sorry about your thumb! That seems highly unfair…

  13. 15 Heather August 14, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    Well, from North Carolina I just want to say THANK GOD you did not eat the second tomato. I’m still concerned about the first one you ate despite the rodent tooth marks. But, at least you stop at mold. Maybe there is still some hope if we get you back to the east coast really soon!

  14. 16 inadvertentgardener August 14, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    Heather, even a girl willing to move to Iowa must have her limits… :-)


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