24 June 2012

DIY - Cherry tomatoes from seed

I am one of those annoying women who when confronted with a new and different food dish will triumphantly exclaim, "I can make this and better." There is of course, a very good chance that I will never make the said dish or even have the slightest clue about how to go about doing it. It's an attitude though and now, I am discovering that it's a lifestyle.

Few months ago I was shopping at Namdhari's, a store that sells decent produce but one I don't frequent often - I don't like that much of the produce is already packaged in plastic. For me the produce experience includes choosing and fussing over the quality of every single bean I pick. The other issue with Namdhari is the price. So typically I shop at my local vegetable market, 15th cross Malleshwaram, where I have befriended couple of shopkeepers, and where I get my staples. For the more exotic stuff like broccoli, thyme, asparagus, there is Namdhari. One afternoon I spotted a cheerful box of cherry tomatoes, cheerful that is, till I saw the price. It wasn't much really but going with the do-it-yourself attitude, I thought to myself, "Why should I pay this much when I can just grow them myself?"

So I came home in a huff, halved a tomato, washed the seeds in water and inserted them them in an pint-sized ice cream tub stuffed with cocopeat. A part of me was skeptical, if anything at all would emerge - my mind buzzed with thoughts about how genetically engineered products sometimes have infertile seeds in them so you are forced to buy the seeds from source each time. Pure drivel, as it turned out. In just a few weeks I has saplings and I had underestimated their will to germinate. The pint sized tub was insufficient to hold them all. So I transferred them out and scattered the saplings into various pots. Three months later, I have cherry tomatoes.

If one were to calculate the amount I spent on the enterprise, it's clear that it was at least 20 fold more expensive than buying a box, whenever I pleased. However, who can beat the joy seeing the red globes hanging off a branch and munching them straight of the vine? Please note that a coconut tree has been provided as a size reference.

This success now means that in addition to gloating about preparing new food dishes, I can scoff at a pricey vegetable and exclaim, "I can grow this."

I just got more annoying!