A tomato epiphany

We are drowning under piles of tomatoes right now. There are baskets and tupperware containers and bowls, and a wheelbarrow for goodness sakes - all completely full of tomatoes. They are haunting my dreams. And we have yet to harvest four of the beds. Oh my.

This happened last year too... Spring finally drags itself out of bed after a long cold winter and I get waaayyyyy overeager in my seed-starting, desperate to make the most of the summer ahead. Plans of growing enough tomatoes to bottle a year's supply of passata seem entirely reasonable in early spring.

Come December and January, I am struggling to find the time and enthusiasm to keep tying up the plants and keep things neat, tidy and somewhat manageable in The Coopermarket. But I figure all will be okay! Wild gardens are healthy gardens right?!?!? 

Cut to February or March (or, as may be the case, April) and the final weeks of harvest - we are overwhelmed with the task of picking and processing and seriously question why we thought it was a good idea to put in 40 tomato plants in the first place. There are those horrible tiny fly/bug thingies hovering around some of the baskets of tomatoes in the kitchen... you just know that means something is rotting and about to liquify, taking a few others along with it. You know that you should be spending every evening processing tomatoes but the motivation up and left when the cold weather finally rolled in. The couch beckons but the tomatoes beckon (taunt) louder.

So, to my ephipany this evening: grow fewer tomatoes!

After much beating-myself-up-for-being-a-terrible-housewife in the past week, I suddenly remembered that our goal was never, and most likely never will be, self-sufficiency. We want to continue to eat seasonally, locally and grow what we can. But if the tomatoes are the break of me every year, there seems to be an easy fix... grow fewer tomatoes!

I will need to be reminded of this plan come September. Inevitably the seed catalogues will call my name and I will get overeager again... I expect that many of my friends will be receiving gifts of tomato seedlings when it comes time to plant. But I already feel a huge weight off my shoulders knowing that, you know what? I can just GROW FEWER TOMATOES!

{The top photo is all of the varieties that we grew this year - all Diggers seeds, a mix of heirloom, organic and hybrid seed types, and all extremely tasty!}