our atomic tomatoes

Well, they’re Brad’s to be specific: Brad’s Atomic Grape tomatoes.

They are the reason I wanted to learn to grow tomatoes from seed, since I cannot find them as starts. Of course, want didn’t stop me from killing every. single. plant. last year during the hardening off process.

This year I get it. It took them seemingly forever to grow, seemingly forever to set buds, seemingly forever to produce anything of a fruit.

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The photos that sold me on them were highly manipulated, which is a shame for how beautiful they are in the real world. The blackish purple stripes only seem to show up on the ones getting the most direct sunlight. None of them are ripening just yet, but they are getting big. Brad’s Atomic Kiwi tomatoes, maybe…? The larger ones are approaching two inches in length.

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The markings are stunning. The leaves are noticeably thinner than most and much curlier. They currently appear to be able to live up to their expectations as heavy producers; I’m beginning to see fruit all over these plants.

I hope the flavor lives up to the appearance.

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There is something in growing things of abnormal colors: purple peppers, white beets, chocolate habanero chilies, chartreuse and purple striped beans have all found their way into our garden.

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This turn around in color is rooted in the same thing that leads me to view the world at a shifted angle. It’s how I build my aesthetic. How I take recovered chunks of old concrete and use them as paver stones in a fire ring.

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In the queerness of my mind, finding the beauty in an odd, atypical color is finding the beauty of old, broken things. They are both unexpected, both refreshing to discover. And they are both welcomed and encouraged here in our wabi-sabi life.

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