Garden Fuck-Up: Vine-Ripened Fail

In today’s installment of Garden Fuck-Ups I present to you the idea of the vine-ripened tomato.

I’ve been eye-balling that sucker for a week now in all its juicy green glory, waiting for the right time to pluck it off the vine, slice it, and enjoy it with some fresh mozzarella, balsamic vinegar, and fresh basil. Who knows, I might even get crazy and drizzle it with a bit of pesto. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

I went into the garden the other day and saw that said tomato was just showing the slightest hint of turning from green to red, but barely enough to notice. It was growing, and I stood there admiring it like a proud parent thinking of how far it had come. They grow up so fast, don’t they? I’d leave it for one more night to allow the color to turn just a bit more, since vine-ripened tomatoes taste sooooo good. It was going to be awesome.

The next day I approached the garden, basket in-hand, and smiled as I went to pull my prize from my tomato plant. I could already taste the caprese I had mentally sliced up and drizzled with oil. I reached around the fruit—and was suddenly bitch-slapped by Mother Nature. Apparently some unidentified garden pest had other plans for my tomato:

No wonder why “vine-ripened” tomatoes in the grocery store are so expensive.

Lesson of the day: when it comes to gardening, don’t wait for your shit to be ready. Remember that although you may want to hold out for that lovely vine-ripened tomato, nature will not. And if she’s in the mood, she can be one greedy little B.

To check out Ali’s garden, DIY projects, and plenty of recipes, visit her on her blog.

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  • ML June 22, 2012  

    I’ll never pick a tomato before its ripe, it’s not worth the taste for me. I’ve been growing tomatoes with my dad since before I could walk – his “trick” : grow way too many plants so when you lose some it’s ok.

  • Ali Macaluso June 22, 2012  

    Ha! Thanks ML, I’;ll need to take that advice!

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