08 January 2011

A cheery cherry day!

Today I harvested the last of the "jitomates cheri" (HEE-toh-mah-tays CHAIR-ee) or "cherry tomatoes" that I had planted early last spring. The tomato plants were still green but they were getting pretty scraggly and weren't producing many new tomatoes. It was definitely time for renewal. I had already started some new seedlings before Christmas from seeds taken from these same plants so all I had to do is pick the last of the ripe tomatoes, rip out the old plants, and replace them with their offspring. Isn't that more or less what life is all about anyway? The past year was a good year for cherry tomatoes. In fact, just about every year is a good year for these tasty little treats and that is why I like them so much. There is nothing like walking out on the patio and plucking a ripe tomato, and after rubbing it between your hands (or on your shirt like I do) to dust it off, you pop it in your mouth and squeeze it with your tongue until it explodes. The combination of the fresh tomato taste and aroma combined with the warmth of the sun makes you feel like you are tasting a bit the sun itself. Alongside the tomatoes I plant a lot of basil which is called "albahaca" (ahl-bah-AH-kah) is Spanish and the scent of the basil combined with the smell and taste of the tomato is just heavenly. Just thinking about it makes you sigh, don't it?

About six plants are all we need to supply ourselves and all of the relatives with cherry tomatoes and at the height of the season we will have tomatoes coming out of our ears. I grow some plants in large "macetas" (mah-SAY-tahs) which are clay flower pots about the size of a five gallon bucket and I grow some in large two or three liter plastic pop bottles that I hang on the garden wall. Other than regular watering and a bit of fertilizer now and then they need very little care. I am always starting new plants that I give away to friends and then listen to them rave about how many cherry tomatoes they are getting. There are two groups of people who love these tomatoes the most...little kids and old people. My "suegro" (SWAY-groh) or "father-in-law" and Gina's little "nieto" (NYET-oh) or "grandson" are always in competition to see who can pick the most tomatoes. I think that God must like cherry tomatoes too, and that is why He made them so delicious, prolific and easy to grow. Thank you God for loving us enough to share your cherry tomatoes with us. I love you back.


Don Cuevas said...

Bob, we would love to have ripe, tasty tomatoes here, but due to climate, bugs and who knows what, none that Sra. Cuevas had planted flourished. In fact, they were nearly nonexistent.

The basil, however, was a riotous success. I used it fresh all through the growing season, made pints of pesto to freeze, and we even dried some.

Yesterday I bought some of those pricey hydroponic vine tomatoes at Costco. We treated ourselves to a half each for breakfast, alongside the scrambled eggs.

Don Cuevas

Brenda said...

Yum, sounds good. Fresh off the plant, rubbed on shirt to clean and popped into mouth. Love them on salads etc. also; but lots direct into mouth.
Mine are just starting to bloom. Can't wait.

Bob Mrotek said...

Don Cuevas,
Hmmm...sounds to me that what you need is either some sincere prayer or a cherry tomato consultant :)

Brenda, are you growing albahaca too? If not you ought to try it.

jennifer rose said...

Could you please post a larger photo of the Coke bottle macetas?

Bob Mrotek said...


Here is a link that explains how I made them and is has photos that you can click on to make them larger:


Send me an e-mail if you want to know more. My address is on the blog.

Brenda said...

Bob: I have tried several times to grow the albahaca and every time it gets to a certain point and dies. Not sure if I had bad soil in that pot or what as my landlady downstairs grows it all the time. I kept it out of the sun and in the shade and it still died so not sure what the problem was. Kind of gave up on it.

jennifer rose said...

Gracias. The pics and text at the link you provided makes it more clear.

Bob Mrotek said...

I think the secret to growing albahaca is partial shade and when it flowers and gets about 18" tall cut it way back on the main stem and it will branch out and renew itself.

You are very welcome. Good luck if you try it and please let me know how it turns out. I wish you many cherry tomatoes.

Brenda said...

Thanks Bob, I was thinking it was just too hot on my patio for it even in the shade under a table during the worst part of the day.
My landladys patio is shady so probably why she can grow it and I can't.
I just noticed today that there are some little tomatoes on my cherry tom. in spite of the white fly attacking it.

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.