Last night, someone came into our garden and stole all the ripe tomatoes, except for a few that they left smashed on the ground. And right now I’m too angry to work on the post I was going to write.
Sometimes I catch people helping themselves to a tomato or two, and I let it pass. But this is different. They didn’t leave any for me. None. They took them all. Even the ones that weren’t quite ripe yet. All that’s left is a couple branches of green tomatoes, and there aren’t even that many of those — this year’s crop has been kind of skimpy.
Being charitable, I suppose that maybe they saw all those red tomatoes just sitting there and figured I wasn’t going to pick them. But I was. I’ve been eating them just about every day, including my favorite breakfast: tomatoes, olive oil, and salt on a hunk of good bread.
I don’t pick my tomatoes the second they turn red. I leave them on the vine until they’re absolutely, perfectly ripe, and then I pick them immediately before I eat them. In fact, I was planning on making a big summer tomato salad for our dinner guests tonight.
How do other people with front yard vegetable gardens deal with theft? If you’ve got suggestions, please leave them in the comments.
And tomato thief, if you’re reading this: next time, please take a couple of those giant zucchini instead.