"There ain't nothin' in the world that I like better
Than bacon 'n lettuce 'n home grown tomatoes
Up in the morning, out in the garden
Get you a ripe one, don't get a hard 'un."
For those of you who knew my Dad, and for those of you who didn't, you either knew his passion for growing tomatoes or wish you had. When it comes to gardening, I know of no one who enjoyed it more than my Pops.
At the tail end of winter, when most of us were looking skyward for warm rays of sun, all you had to do was travel to our basement on Heather Ridge Drive and the "growing lights" were already in progress. My Dad would plant tomato seeds and over time they would sprout and start the process. He didn't enjoy it, he loved it!
My niece was recalling how she was part of the planting cycle. The two of them would go out, purchase the seeds, and then proceed to plant them and watch them grow over the weeks that followed. Brooke went to my folks house every Thursday while my brother went bowling; it was her moment with my Mom and Dad, but there was that special bond between she and my Dad.
For many years my Dad tried other vegetables; some were successful, some were not. Of what I recall, there was one year he tried to grow watermelons—I think they exploded from the heat. True story. Either that, or maybe someone did what I would have done as a kid—I am hoping they just exploded on their own without any help.
My Dad's crop was more than a few tomatoes, there were hundreds. More than two people could consume; friends and neighbors knew when the crop came in, tomatoes were given to anyone who wanted them. My Dad even had a rock in his garden—it said, "Si's Garden." Yes it was his garden and I wanted nothing to do with it. No weeding, no garden weasel, nothing—I got my wish.
The tomatoes stopped after my Mom passed away; my Dad, after a few years was not able to handle all it took to grow them. I am sure the nearby grocery stores saw an increase in sales when my Dad stopped sharing—his were much better.
The photo above was online today and it made me think of an idea I am really hoping I can get done. For sure my Dad will not be growing tomatoes any longer since he has passed away. But that doesn't mean his mark on this world has to end.
I want to place a tomato plant next to his stone; I want the tomatoes to grow and for anyone who would like one, feel free to take it. It sounds easy, except tomatoes need a lot of water and St. Louis summers can be very hot and dry. No water, no tomatoes. I have a thought, and would love for people who are visiting their loved ones at the cemetery where my Father, Mother, Grandparents, Aunt and Uncle now reside—bring a quart of water and feed the tomato plants. Chances are the next few times you are visiting, you will see somethings never die and you can walk away with one of "Si's tomatoes."
Thanks for stopping by.