July 12, 2012

Food in the Front Yard Project: Growing Cherry Tomatoes

When we said "cherry tomatoes," poor Alice heard only the "cherry" part. She popped one into her mouth, bit down, then looked up at me in betrayed confusion.

And even now that she knows they are not what she thinks they are, the little tomatoes are often too red and too round for her to resist.

In my rookie opinion, cherry tomatoes are super easy to grow in containers. We started out with three nursery-grown seedlings (probably more than a small family really needs) that we caged soon after planting. They like lots of full sunlight and consistently moist soil, and when they are ready to be harvested, they can be twisted off the vine with very little resistance.

Ours have been ripening in phases so that a single bush might have green, yellow, orange and red tomatoes hanging from it - it's very beautiful. One of the challenges of gardening with a toddler, though, is overzealous veggie picking. You can say, "Just the red ones, just the red ones," but sometimes she just can't help herself.

I've never been an enormous fan of tomatoes, but I'll admit it's been nice, in the evenings, to go outside and pick a bowlful of these guys to add to our salads and pastas.

Once, we made little caprese bites, wrapping a cherry tomato and a chunk of mozzarella inside a basil leaf, then skewering it all on a wooden toothpick. Super summery.

We replaced part of our front yard with an edible garden. To read more about it, start with Part 1Part 2, and Part 3.
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