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
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 Author:William Alexander William Alexander had a simple dream of having a vegetable garden and small orchard in his backyard. It was a dream that would lead to life-and-death battles with groundhogs, webworms, and weeds; midnight expeditions in the dead of winter to dig up fresh thyme; skirmishes with neighbors who feed the vermin (i.e., deer); the near electrocution of... more » the tree man; and the pity of his wife and children.
When Alexander decided to run a cost-benefit analysis, adding up everything from the Havahart animal trap ($60) to the Velcro tomato wraps ($5) to the steel edging ($1,200), then amortizing it over the life of his garden, it came as quite a shock to learn that it cost him a staggering $64 to grow each tomato.
A gardener with an existential bent, Alexander gives excellent advice about everything from peaches to leeks, while tackling such questions as What do our gardens tell us about ourselves? Do we get the gardens we deserve? And why does the groundhog have to take one bite from half a dozen tomatoes when any gardener would gladly grant him six bites of just one?« less
Priscila Z. reviewed 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 on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
A pretty quick read, the story is more focused on Alexander's experiences and self-analysis than any horticultural advice, so if your are looking to learn about gardening this isn't really the intent of the book.
Matthew L. reviewed 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 on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I totally agree with the review by Priscila Z. It is a quick and painless read. I enjoy first person books that have a touch of humor, but if you hope to get some gardening advice of any nature out of this book don't bother. I was hoping for grass roots gardening stories but they don't exist in this story. The writer started by having a custom garden created (for $8,500, 20 years ago!) and it went on from there.
Still, a nice diversion from the deeper non-fiction I normally read.
Connie A. (jazzysmom) - , reviewed 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 on + 907 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Really can you even imagine spending this much to have a tomato? I can't. This was an enjoyable read about a man obsessed with producing the perfect tomato. Now stop and think about this..unless you are willing to spend gobs of money it will not be possible to grow becasue just as Mr Alexander points out...there are so many things to fight and crisis after crisis to produce this round, juicy red morsel of heaven and rich earth. Some people just become obsessed is all i can say. This was a fun read and made me laugh in several places. Sliced carefully, divided into maybe 6 slices from a large tomato... even a huge juicy tomato from the best southern road side stand will never cost you over a few cents a slice...ever. $64.00 makes me wanna really taste this tomato. :)
Was very different from what I was expecting when I ordered the book. But I have to say it was a very enjoyable story of his adventures in the attemp to grow his own veggies. The guy was a good story teller.