A Hearty Tomato Harvest?
Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: August 10, 2023
If there is one thing that heart surgery has taught me… It is to “stop and smell the roses”.
I know that may sound cliche but it is 100% accurate. Prior to surgery, I struggled being present to all the wonderful things that life has to offer. So, in this second chance at life, I am committed to slowing down, being more available to those around me, and having fun with new hobbies. One of those hobbies is gardening. I started with roses. Now, I’m into vegetables.
The reality… I’m a terrible farmer. Three years ago, I began growing tomatoes, zucchini, squash, and cucumbers . Three years ago, I quickly became humbled by Mother Nature. Everything I tried to grow either died or tasted terrible. I had no green thumb. Even with failure after failure, I always enjoyed being outside, hands in the dirt, trying new strategies to grow something, anything. I realized just how bad I was, when Robyn, my wife, got me a garden sign for my birthday. The sign reads, “Grow! Damn it!”
I love a challenge. I was not going to give up. So, I did what most people do these days… I went to YouTube.
On YouTube, I learned a ton of new ideas about the dos and don’ts of veggies. I learned about climate zones, the different types of veggies, how to water, when to water, soil amendments, and so on. Some people watch Netflix late at night in bed. I watch the MIgardener and The Millenial Gardener.
This summer, I decided to simply focus on tomatoes. In May, I planted Celebrity, Bush Goliath, Roma and Husky Cherry tomatoes, which are determinate varieties. In addition to prepping the soil with compost and fertilizer, I also increased my watering and decreased the amount of pruning. As you can see in the pictures above, which were taken yesterday, I am starting to actually see some improvement in my garden.
So you know… I love Caprese salad – the fresh tomatoes, the mozzarella, the basil, the extra virgin olive oil, and that splash of balsamic vinegar. Here’s a picture of the first Caprese salad I made for Robyn and Ethan, my son.
I have a lot more to learn – about gardening, about vegetables, about life. Again… I’m just happy to have that “second chance”, thanks to my surgery.
Keep on tickin!