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domesticating feral tomatoes

i don't think i've ever officially "gardened." i was simply never told that it was a thing i could even ever do. several years ago i lived in an apartment building with a grassy front lawn in montclair, new jersey, and during a visit from my uncle vinny, he said "what's with the grass, you should pave it." it's absurd to most, but there was virtually no grass within sight from our bay ridge apartment when i lived with him as a baby. what i'm getting at is, basically, a balcony counts as "nature" to me.

several weeks ago a neighbor had a bunch of tomato plant babies on her stoop, along with a sign saying "free." i never really garden or grow things so i figured it would be cool and low-risk to try. i took one of the several planters fashioned out of a plastic fage yogurt container and have watered it regularly on my fire escape (allegedly). today i harvested my first tomatoes from it!

photograph of a tall tomato plant on a kitchen table, with cool art on the wall and my reflection where i'm looking like i'm sobbing

i approached this plant like i were a cave person by not looking up anything on the internet about how to actually maintain the plant and keeping it in the same fage container the whole time.

photograph of my tomatoes close up

i'm not sure if they are supposed to be this small! pumagreg was unimpressed.

photograph of me holding my tomatoes near a black cat on the floor

i figured that the only substantial thing i could make that i could use my 3 little tomato babies on was a small flatbread. but because i'd still be hungry and also i had store-bought tomatoes (embarrassing), i decided to make a big flatbread and have 1/3 of it be my tomatoes.

photograph of my counter with ingredients for flatbread: naan, tomatoes, basil, ricotta. they're on a cutting board

add some sauce to nann (mine was store-bought), lay down the tomatoes, basil and vegan ricotta, and sprinkle on red pepper flakes generously.

photograph of a tomato flatbread before it's baked

bake it for 10 minutes on 400 degrees fahrenheit, then turn off the oven and leave it in there for 5 more minutes. i'm excited to report that the cutest third of the flatbread was the one with my little tomato babies!

photograph of a slice of tomato flatbread

i'm filing this post under "quick meals" because it really was super quick, but how good it looks makes that surprising. and, yes, i should have added the basil after i baked it; i don't know why i did that.

photograph of a plate with two slices of tomato flatbread and a black cat on the table looking at it

i have about 6 more tomato babies growing, and i'm going to start actually looking up how to properly grow tomatoes. andy gave me a variety of flower and vegetable seeds awhile ago and i think i have the confidence i need, in my ability to grow, to start learning how to plant those.

do you like and/or grow tomato(es)? sound off in the comments!

xoxo jenn

this was published August 20, 2021 under living food blogging-while-high blogging-while-menstruating gardening recipes quick-meals pumagreg