Monday, June 07, 2004

My 24-dollar cherry tomato

I was going to share my deep thoughts about NASA space policy, but that may have to wait until after I write about the $24 cherry tomato I ate yesterday.

Twenty-four dollars is what I spent two months ago for a large ceramic pot, potting soil, and two cherry tomato starter plants. Yesterday I had my first cherry tomato, so I figure if I don’t get to eat any more, then it cost me $24 (who knows what it cost by the pound). Of course I hope to get more tomatoes from the two plants, but I’m not sure how much more. The plants have stopped growing after getting less than three feet tall, which seems unimpressive to me.

Several weeks ago I decided my goal was to reduce my unit cost to less than one dollar per cherry tomato, but I was dreaming – I’ll be lucky if they only cost me twice as much. Yes, I know I can get more plants, but not for a while – I’ll be traveling for several weeks, which spells doom for potted tomatoes. Great way to save money.

I had this posting written in my mind, and then I ran across this article in the Washington Post (registration required), about a 13-year-old girl in rural Ethiopia seeking criminal punishment for her rapist, instead of being forced to marry him. Quite a contrast to my shallow existence. The very end was the most striking to me, to read the comments of the rapist’s sister-in-law, who herself had been raped and forced to marry. I felt like she was risking her life to say the things she said, maybe because she just didn’t care that she could be killed for saying the truth. What a life to have.

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