Book 51 of 52: "The $64 Tomato" by William Alexander

Author’s note: this is the last Monday of the year – shouldn’t this be book 52?  Strange.  I’ll do one more book this week, then.

Gardening.  No, not gardening, farming.  It always feels like a great hobby, the purest way to give back to Nature, create the freshest and healthiest food, and save money on a grocery bill.  What could be better than growing your own fruits and vegetables, with nothing but sunlight, soil, and water, and eating them all year round?

This, at least, is how William Alexander feels at the beginning of his book, and I have to say that I echo his sentiment.  However, as he soon discovers when he actually purchases some farmland and starts growing, Nature has other plans.
Well, he doesn’t buy a farm.  He buys a house on a huge plot of land, and decides to become a “gentleman farmer.”  Still, a noble goal.  However, as we follow along with Alexander’s (mis)adventures, we find out how synthetic pesticides are a bleak necessity, just how much work goes into producing even a simple tomato.

Deer.  Bugs.  Storms.  Watering.  A million little curses, all of them conspiring against a farmer.  “The $64 Tomato” is hilariously funny in some parts, but it also leaves me with a newfound respect for farmers, for the struggle they must face every time they try and earn food from Nature.

Time to read: 1.5 hours.

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