[gardeners] Let this be a lesson to you...

Margaret Lauterbach (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Wed, 02 Apr 2003 08:39:20 -0700

A few years ago forecast of an early frost sent me to the tomato patch to 
pick ripe and green 'maters before the frost. I had cut beverage boxes 
(that hold four six packs of beverages -- they're shallow so tomatoes can't 
get crushed) on the sofa, chairs, every flat surface in the house.  And I 
had a call in to the repair people for our garage door opener.  The owner 
came, fixed the door and while I made out the check, he gazed around at the 
tomatoes, and said "you sure have a lot of tomatoes."  "Would you like 
some?" I asked. "Yes!!!!" was his enthusiastic response.  I filled a box 
with an assortment of tomatoes as I told him they were all open pollinated 
tomatoes so he could save seeds and grow the same kind next year.  I also 
told him to squeeze the tomatoes into a bowl or cottage cheese tub, add a 
bit of water and let the seeds ferment for a few days before rinsing them 
off in a sieve, then putting them out to dry on a china plate -- seeds 
stick to paper.  I put the plates in my china hutch where they won't get 
accidentally knocked over, etc.  About two years later, the garage door 
opener failed completely, and a very anguished DH finally hailed a cab to 
get him to his early morning Rotary meeting.  I had an appointment later 
that morning, and called the repair people.

The owner started to tell me he was too busy, then he paused and asked if I 
was the "tomato lady."  I had forgotten about giving him the tomatoes, but 
I said "yes" anyway.  "I'll be right up," he said.  He arrived within half 
an hour (it takes that long to drive from his office to my house) and 
repaired the garage door.  He told me they had saved a lot of seeds and 
grew seedlings for friends, employees and neighbors since he got the 
tomatoes from me.  His prompt response was a major benefit to us.  Sunday 
evening he called and said his tomato-loving mechanic employee asked if he 
had planted tomatoes yet, and he said "No, but I will this weekend."  He 
had searched all weekend, and couldn't find his stash of seeds.  He called 
to ask if I had any extras.  I told him I did, and he said he'd stop by 
when he was in the neighborhood.

I prepared a packet of about six varieties of tomatoes for him, and put 
them in a baggie.  Tuesday morning he arrived, and DH gave him the 
packet.  He was delighted there were so many seeds, and apologetically said 
he'd probably find his seeds when he arrived home.  Then he went out and 
gave our garage door a free tune-up.  At least it works more promptly than 
it did before.  Ye reap what ye sow, I guess.  Margaret L