The heirloom tomatoes always draw me in. The other produce in the grocery store all seems too perfect, like airbrushed models on the fashion mags. They are pretty to look at but seem to belong to another Universe. All those unblemished potatoes and the picture-perfect apples make me suspicious. What have these murderous models done with their imperfect siblings??

Nowadays, companies like Imperfect Foods and the Misfits Market scoop them up and deliver them to people like me who don’t mind a few blemishes. And I do get 90% of the fruits and vegetables from my community-supported agriculture box. But when I need a couple more onions or bananas for muffins, I find myself sneaking down those grocery store produce aisles—wondering if I’m too imperfect to be there.

The heirloom tomatoes, though, they never let me down. They are oddly-shaped, weirdly-veined, and they make me feel at home. Sixty years old now, I find myself oddly-shaped and weirdly-veined, too. I’m tempted to scoop up the whole lot of the heirlooms as a rescue mission. I can’t bear to think these jolie laide oddities will rot here on the shelf, but I also wonder: will anyone else select these freaks of nature that are surrounded by all the perfect-looking produce? These fruits are venerable progenies of plants that have survived across the decades, despite their falls from favor. They deserve a more respectful finale than to be tossed in the trash.

Yes, yes, even as self absorbed as I often am, I realize other people must buy them, too; Von’s doesn’t carry these homely fruits just for me. And the heirlooms can be pricey, too, so I summon all the fiscal restraint I possess. It’s not a lot and my face reddens from the effort, but I manage to select just the ones I’ll eat right away . . . and leave the rest for the next misfit shopper longing for some homely tomato therapy.

I know you’re out there.

Read Love Earth Now
Preview Chapter One
Listen to the Introduction
Buy the Book

New Rules

Site Footer

  © Cheryl Leutjen