I love to grow cherry tomatoes. But they would perplex me every year. Within minutes of picking them, I would have half a basket of split tomatoes.
So when the old timer up the road ordered me to get up to his house to test his homemade wine, I made a mental note to pick his brain about the tomato tumult.
In between sips of what I can only describe as a cross between grape juice and gasoline, I asked him about the splitting tomatoes.
“Well, how do you pick the damn things?” he asked with a purple-tinted sneer.
I gave him a confused look and said, “I pull them off the vine?”
“You’re cherry tomatoes are splitting because you’re an a**hole. You need to cut them off the vine and leave a little bit of the stem,” he snipped back at me. “You’ll ain’t get none of those splitted-up tomatoes if you do it the right way.”
“Thank goodness the mason jar of gasoline wine that he drank softened up his demeanor a little bit,” I grumbled in my head.
“Take this home to your husband,” he ordered me, shoving a milk jug full of “wine” into my hands.
I trotted home and picked a basket full of cherry tomatoes, just like he told me to and not one of them split! Mystery solved. I’ll have to thank him for the advice, but I don’t have the heart to tell him I stopped and dumped out his “cabernet” on the side of the road.