Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sell the Sand

A highlight of our Connecticut visit last month was the vegetables. Yellow corn, with kernels so fat they pop noisily when you bite them. And honest-to-God tomatoes, heavy ripe tomatoes that squirt juice down your shirt when you bite into one. Tomatoes that taste so sweet and acidy and tomatoey that your mouth aches with the pleasure of it.

You would think that the miraculous Florida sunshine would favor brilliant red-fleshed tomatoes the way it produces brilliant red-fleshed tourists. You would think it, but you would be wrong: Florida tomatoes suck. In fact, scientists have recently proven that all the Florida tomatoes sold at Publix are carved out of styrofoam and painted red.

So how can Connecticut, with its long, crappy winters and puny growing season, do with tomatoes what Florida can't? Answer: Connecticut has the one essential that Florida lacks: soil. Florida has no soil whatsoever. It has sand. No offense intended to Florida or to sand. Sand really dresses up Clearwater Beach, for instance, but you wouldn't want to grow anything in it.

My thought is that Florida could harvest the deep sand off all its tomato farms and export it to Singapore, which happens to be the world's largest importer of sand. Singapore is building a bigger Singapore out of sand. (Good luck with that, by the way.) With the money Florida makes selling sand, it could go up to Connecticut and buy soil - black, loamy topsoil with earthworms and other living things in it. Then Florida could build real farms by spreading the soil around where all the sand came from.

And grow tomatoes in it.



  1. The reason we grow such great tomatoes around these parts is because of all the......yup, you guessed it......horse pucky. It's amazing something so stinky can grow something so tasty.

  2. Oh, Florida has horses - lots of horses - and therefore pucky - lots of pucky. But adding horse pucky to sand results only in gritty horse pucky (or smelly sand, depending on your mix). You need clay, a bit of river silt, some rotted plant material, and horse pucky. Then you nurture the resulting mixture for, say, 3000 years or so. Then you plant your tomatoes. If all it took was horse pucky, the Florida legislature would be awash in tomatoes.

  3. Yeah, Ev, I know what you mean about sand and horse pucky; the flies would be awful.

    HA, those politicians sure are full of horse pucky along with the rest of the political machine.