Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword or section
Like this
5Activity

Table Of Contents

Whore in the Bedroom, Horticulturist in the Garden
We Know Where You Live
One Man’s Weed Is Jean-Georges’s Salad
No Such Thing as Organic Apples
You May Be Smarter, But He’s Got More Time
Nature Abhors a Meadow (But Loves a Good Fire)
Shell-Shocked: A Return to the Front (Burner)
Christopher Walken, Gardener
Cereal Killer
Statuary Rape
Harvest Jam
The Existentialist in the Garden
The $64 Tomato
Childbirth. Da Vinci. Potatoes
acknowledgments
Suggested Reading
Recipes
P. 1
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

Ratings:

3.57

(135)
|Views: 38 |Likes:
Published by Workman Publishing
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.
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.

More info:

Publish date: Mar 2, 2007
Added to Scribd: Apr 30, 2013
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9781565125841
List Price: $9.99

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Buy the full version from:Amazon
See more
See less

07/04/2014

304

9781565125841

You're Reading a Free Preview
Pages 4 to 84 are not shown in this preview.
You're Reading a Free Preview
Pages 88 to 182 are not shown in this preview.
You're Reading a Free Preview
Pages 186 to 193 are not shown in this preview.
You're Reading a Free Preview
Pages 197 to 290 are not shown in this preview.
You're Reading a Free Preview
Pages 294 to 304 are not shown in this preview.

Activity (5)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
Publishers Weekly reviewed this
When the author of this hilarious horticultural memoir plants a large vegetable garden and a small orchard on his Hudson Valley farmstead, he finds himself at odds with almost all creation. At the top of the food chain are the landscaping contractors, always behind schedule, frequently derelict, occasionally menacing. Then there are the herds of deer that batter the electrified fence to get at Alexander's crop, and the groundhog who simply squeezes between the wires, apparently savoring the 10,000-volt shocks. Most insidious are the armies of beetles, worms, maggots and grubs that provoke Alexander, initially an organic-produce zealot, into drenching his entire property with pesticides. He braves these trials, along with hours of backbreaking labor and the eye-rolling of his wife and children, for the succulence of homegrown food. He also manages to maintain a sense of humor, riffing on everything from the ugliness of garden ornaments to the politics of giving away vegetables to friends. Alexander's slightly poisoned paradise manages to impart an existential lesson on the interconnectedness of nature and the fine line between nurturing and killing. (Apr. 14) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

2005-11-21, Publishers Weekly
nelliemc reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Lots of fun and humor along with compulsive behavior. I loved the writing and admired the author's endurance and energy. Definitely worth reading for anyone with any garden at all, or anyone who's ever dreamed of wandering into a backyard and picking a beautiful tomato for dinner. Makes farmers markets look even more enticing.
squeakychu reviewed this
Rated 4/5
William Alexander and his physician wife buy a three-acre rather neglected property and plan for how to convert it into a food and flower-producing garden. The way the author describes his adventures while doing this are absolutely hilarious. Anyone who has ever done any vegetable gardening will easily identify with the author’s aspirations as well as his problems as he first designs his garden and then begins to create it to his own specifications. Suddenly, along come the animals, then insects, and then... Well, you get the picture. This organic farmer wannabe has to decide how pesticide laden he wants his crops to be in order for him to bring in a decent size harvest. I’m well aware that animals can be the amateur farmer’s nemesis, but I really wasn’t prepared for the animal cruelty espoused by this author in his otherwise funny book. If you are an animal lover but think you can handle reading such passages, then I would give you the go-ahead on this book. It is highly entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny in most other places. If I were a writer, I’d probably tell my garden story in exactly the same way.
nancenwv reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Being a straw mulcher and a strong advocate of the conservation importance of keeping soil covered I found this city greenhorn slightly annoying as he kept pursuing his visually aesthetic (and way expensive) garden with it's bare earth. I felt like he got whatever was coming to him in terms of interminable weeding, constant watering, and plant health. Then he really lost me when he talked about leaving animals in Havaheart traps to die. What kind of idiot was this?However, in the end his perspective on long term gardening, food, and family life is graceful and moving.
cestovatela reviewed this
Rated 4/5
William Alexander is a man of extreme and unique passions. Not content to renovate an abandoned ninety-year-old farmhouse, he builds a 2,000 square foot kitchen garden, which he tends with old fashioned implements like a scythe and a stirrup hoe. Less a chronological narrative than a collection of essays, The $64 Tomato describes his battles with deer, beetles, squirrels, and pesticides. Many of these stories are laugh-out-loud funny, but others lead to surprisingly profound insights about environments and ecosystems. At the core of the book is Alexander's deep love of food and respect for nature, which makes him human and relatable even in the midst of his excesses. I do wish the book had provided more insight about how his garden changes as his body ages and his passions evolve, but this is a minor complaint about a book that I loved enough to read in two days.
tgraettinger_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Sometimes this book hit me a little too close for comfort, but overall a pretty decent read. His stories felt like the same garden miseries my wife, I, and our friends have experienced collectively - battles with groundhogs (I loved his "Superchuck"), deer, squirrels, and various other varmints. It was disappointing that he couldn't live up to his organic ideals, but I guess those are the choices we all have to make.
mldg_1 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Not a how to gardening book. This is a gardening memoir. William Alexander tells the story of how his garden came to be. He chronicles the changes in his garden and in himself over the course of twenty years.Since I enjoy peeking into other people's lives, I enjoyed this book.
stellaaura reviewed this
Rated 4/5
So true and very sweet.
mumstheword_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
I liked this one a lot. It was so funny that I could identify with many of the man's dilemmas. Ironic that such a stress relieving hobby could prove to be so emotion packed. This was a good side trip from my usual line-up of to be read books.
jonesjohnson reviewed this
Rated 5/5
The Larry David of gardening. Sometimes it hurts too much, and you'll need to leave the room.

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->