Friday, August 13, 2010

Reducing Cherry Tomato Stress

It's cherry tomato season. Even though i have learned to limit my plants--3 sungolds and 2 grape tomatoes--i still harvest dozens every day. OK. I admit--at the last moment, at a plant sale supporting a youth program, i bought 3 pale yellow "cherry" tomato plants whose fruits are the size of golf balls.

This is the price of desire, that little voice that says, "Oh, i'll just have one or two more." Three months later, what do you do with a burgeoning crop?

I could complain about it as if it's someone else's fault that i'm overwhelmed by little tomatoes. But complaining is a form of aversion, and i really don't want to water those seeds of unskillful words--whether spoken aloud or silently in my mind.

I could give my extra cherry tomatoes away and practice generosity. That would be watering the seeds of skillful action. And i could have the joy of knowing someone else will en-joy them.

Here's what i actually do: i sun-dry the cherry tomatoes. Two racks of them are in the food dryer right now. My homemade food dryer is powered by 4 100-watt light bulbs. I've heard that you can "sun" dry tomatoes in a low oven (200 degrees) overnight, if you leave the oven door cracked.

You might call this approach making lemonade out of lemons. It's one way to reduce the stress of way too many cherry tomatoes.

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