The $64 Tomato
How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for the Perfect Garden
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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.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
As I start my own gardens, although smaller, in a new home...this book brought a lot of laughters and "I totally get what you're going through" moments. I highly recommend it. It's a quick read and insightful. Occasionally. Feel like he repeats himself but all in all a great book.
I have read this book no less than 10 times. Bill Alexander is one of the most disarming authors I have ever read. The story is so human, so flawed, and yet so relevant, it would be hard not to relate. I live in an apartment and cannot have a kitchen garden like you can in Hudson valley, but even I could relate my trials of trying to grow herbs in San Francisco to the problems of the $64 dollar tomato. Even if you don't garden it's still funny and charming to no end.