Saturday, July 12, 2008

My $64 tomato

To my dear Hearth Witch, this my friend is what I am doing to combat the CO2 rise.

Above is the first of hopefully many of my heirloom brandywine tomatoes. After reading an absolutely riotous book called "The $64 dollar Tomato" , I was delighted to find some of the plants at my local organic nursery. The book is a must read for anyone who has ever given home gardening a serious go. I literally laughed until I cried and gasped for breath. Especially as the author details his run in with Super Chuck and the $64 dollar Brandywine tomatoes. I will not spoil it for you but it is wonderful.

So as an avid gardener and scientist, I needed to know if the topsy turvey planters that I got myself for Yule were as good as the old fashioned pots that I usually grow the tomatoes in. I bought two plants and attempted to treat and tend them equally. The old fashioned pot is ahead of the race and this was the first tomato.

Now for most people growing that which grows as a weed everywhere else is not a big deal. Not so for this killer of mint plants and aspiring druid. This my friends is an act of magick plain and simple :) I tend them daily, I fuss over them and I definately have a SERIOUS lust for result. All the things that make me equisitely UNhermetic.

The lessons from this old fashioned tomato are astounding. It is cosmetically challenged in many ways ( it appears that this type is prone to splitting) but it does not stop the charm or appeal. When I grabbed a bit of the purple basil growing next to it, the combination was astounding. This tomato SMELLS like a tomato. When you cut into it , there were 95 percent meat and 5 percent water and seeds. I devourered it as part of dinner, but in reality could have stopped there. The entire process SMELLED and felt ALIVE. It tasted like NOTHING I have ever eatten before. I now know why the author chose this variety. The man was on to something.

So it made me wonder what have we been doing to our food? Why don't tomatoes in the store SMELL like tomatoes? Why are they all water and very little meat? Why can you not use the seeds that they produce?

All of these questions have me pondering the nature of our food supply and the sustainablity of our life style. If our food is altered to such an extent that we can no longer produce it from seeds then what is it transfering to us? Biology tells us that mutant strains are not stable genetic plateforms. So what happens when that platform becomes OUR building blocks? Is this the foundation for better health? Or is this the foundation for deevolving platforms. Is that what is driving our collective deteriorating health? Is this why we as a species are having such problems?

We ordered dinner in tonight and I looked at it with entirely different eyes. The good Frater asked me why I was looking at dinner "as if it was going to attack me" and I responded that I was thinking. In all honesty I WAS thinking that it was going to attack me. From the processed to grains to the mystery cheese to mystery meat, I knew NOTHING about my dinner.

The tomato that I had consumed an hour before and I had a relationship. As did the basil and mint that went with it. As did the chives and strawberries I grazed for dessert. I KNEW these plants and their fruits. I know how they were raised and what went into them. I asked and was granted permission to pick each of them. They were picked minutes before they were consumed. They SMELLED right.

Maybe it is this sense that we are neglecting that is causing us the most issues. We human animals have forgotten in 3 short generations what ripe fruits and veggies are supposed to smell like before you eat them.

In magick we use the sense of smell to bring back the most unpolluted memories. Our sense of smell is the basis behind using frankensence as a temple offering or a multitude of other smell associations. The sense of smell is least altered by time. If you smelled it as a child and 30 years later you smelled it again, the memories come flooding back in. The associations are the strongest and clearest through smell. So it amazes me that we are eatting things that lack this basic characteristic. How did we allow ourselves to accept this level of deevolution on something so basic as our own nutrition?

I am telling you I am measuring the yard for how many raised beds of veggies I can plant TOMORROW!

1 comment:

Lavanah said...

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! I'm afraid that you have now been permanantly estranged from the American food supply (or fodder as I usually call it). Brandywine tomatoes were my entry drug, too.

2 words of advice for you, if you do put in those raised beds-drip hoses.