The $64 Tomato

The $64 Tomato

Book - 2006
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Bill Alexander had no idea that his simple dream of having a vegetable garden and small orchard in his backyard would lead him into life-and-death battles with groundhogs, webworms, weeds, and weather; midnight expeditions in the dead of winter to dig up fresh thyme; and skirmishes with neighbors who feed the vermin (i.e., deer). Not to mention the vacations that had to be planned around the harvest, the near electrocution of the tree man, the limitations of his own middle-aged body, and the pity of his wife and kids. When Alexander runs (just for fun!) a costbenefit analysis, adding up everything from the live animal trap to the Velcro tomato wraps and then amortizing it over the life of his garden, it comes as quite a shock to learn that it cost him a staggering $64 to grow each one of his beloved Brandywine tomatoes. But as any gardener will tell you, you can't put a price on the unparalleled pleasures of providing fresh food for your family.
Publisher: Chapel Hill, NC : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, c2006
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781565125032
Branch Call Number: 635.09 ALE NVD


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Mar 27, 2018

A beautifully narrated adventure in gardening!

Jul 22, 2012

Less a memoir about gardening (and definitely not a real discussion about the costs of conventional or organic gardening), this is an enjoyable read about one man's obsessive quest for a backyard that produces delicious fruits and vegetables but is also - first and foremost, it seems - PRETTY. While I found the book (and Alexander) likeable, the whole premise of the book - a valiant struggle against garden pests and weeds - fell a bit flat once the author more or less stated that all his problems would be solved if he a) installed a chainlink fence around his garden, and b) put down plastic and mulch over his garden beds to eliminate weeds. He would do neither of these things, however, because they were not PRETTY. Inspiring garden memoir this is not. But it is often funny.

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