Note: This prescription is preventive, and must be initiated several months prior to the end of summer.
Rx: Tomato plants, any highly productive variety.
Quantity: 72 plants (or any larger number of plants).
Refill: Once annually, as needed.
At the end of May, apply 72 (or more) plants at once to fertile soil every three feet. Replace any plants singed by a late frost. Stake and tie plants for maximum tomato yield. Grow plants with a commitment to eating all tomatoes produced, immediately and year round.
Harvest tomatoes constantly. Preserve tomatoes with a complete set of canning
equipment, quart jars, and, ideally, a food dehydrator. Stare repeatedly at the full mason jars, hoping they have been properly sealed.
If fulfilled and administered as directed, this prescription will heighten relief at summer’s end, delay autumn melancholy, and curb feelings of dread that winter is pending.
- Having a day job (Or a night and weekend job. Any other job, really).
- Raising livestock.
- Parenting (See previous).
- Growing ridiculous quantities of other vegetables.
- Fulfilling weekly shares for a Community Supported Agriculture enterprise.
A willingness to allow tomatoes to rot, however, will weaken the effects of this prescription.
Side effects may include:
- Sweating profusely in the garden.
- Dark tomato plant staining of fingers, resembling heavy tobacco use.
- Heartburn from overdose on fresh tomatoes.
- Sweating profusely in the kitchen.
- Abnormal gait while sliding in tomato juice all over the kitchen floor.
- Insomnia due to finishing the last canner load at midnight.
- Hypersalivation from olfactory stimulation.
- Deep sense of satisfaction.
Caution: While using this prescription, Do Not perform the simple arithmetic of dividing the grocery store price of canned tomatoes by the number of hours spent planting, weeding, picking, and preserving your tomatoes. Such calculations might impair your perceptions of value and could result in injury to your gratification.
Consult your physician, therapist, spouse, neighbors, employer, and local garden guru before beginning any rigorous garden program. If you have a past history of excessive gardening or aversion to eating ripe tomatoes right off the vine, or if you lack a support network to receive boxfuls of ripe tomatoes in early September, this prescription may not be right for you.