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The $64 Tomato

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The $64 Tomato Cover

ISBN13: 9781565125032
ISBN10: 1565125037
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 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?

Review:

"Indeed, the book is one long horticultural midlife crisis, or else Genesis: The Sequel — what would have happened had God decided to employ Adam as a gardener and transmuted Eve's lust into a predilection for bottling fruit. At one point Alexander wonders, 'Am I becoming my garden, or is my garden becoming me?' It is a question that will resonate with many gardeners." Tim Richardson, The Washington Post

Review:

"An amusing compilation of do's and don'ts for aspiring gardeners afflicted with hubris." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

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.

Synopsis:

Who knew that Bill Alexander's simple dream of having a vegetable garden and small orchard would lead him into life-and-death battles with webworms, weeds, and a groundhog named Superchuck? Over the course of his hilarious adventures, Alexander puzzles over why a six-thousand-volt wire doesn't deter deer but nearly kills his tree surgeon; encounters a gardener who bears an eerie resemblance to Christopher Walken; and stumbles across the aphrodisiac effects of pollen when he plays bumble bee to his apple blossoms.

When he decides (just for fun) to calculate how much it cost to grow one of his beloved Brandywine tomatoes, he comes up with a staggering $64. But as any gardener knows, you can't put a price tag on the rewards of homegrown produce, or on the lessons learned along the way.

About the Author

William Alexander, the author of two critically acclaimed books, lives in New York's Hudson Valley. By day the IT director at a research institute, he made his professional writing debut at the age of fifty-three with a national bestseller about gardening, The $64 Tomato. His second book, 52 Loaves, chronicled his quest to bake the perfect loaf of bread, a journey that took him to such far-flung places as a communal oven in Morocco and an abbey in France, as well as into his own backyard to grow, thresh, and winnow wheat. The Boston Globe called Alexander "wildly entertaining," the New York Times raved that "his timing and his delivery are flawless," and the Minneapolis Star Tribune observed that "the world would be a less interesting place without the William Alexanders who walk among us." A 2006 Quill Book Awards finalist, Alexander won a Bert Greene Award from the IACP for his article on bread, published in Saveur magazine. A passion bordering on obsession unifies all his writing. He has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition and at the National Book Festival in Washington DC and is a frequent contributor to the New York Times op-ed pages, where he has opined on such issues as the Christmas tree threatening to ignite his living room and the difficulties of being organic. Now, in Flirting with French, he turns his considerable writing talents to his perhaps less considerable skills: becoming fluent in the beautiful but maddeningly illogical French language. 


Table of Contents

Contents

————————

Prologue: Gentleman Farmer 1

Whore in the Bedroom, Horticulturist in the Garden 3

We Know Where You Live 21

One Mans Weed Is Jean-Georgess Salad 47

No Such Thing as Organic Apples 75

You May Be Smarter, But Hes Got More Time 96

Nature Abhors a Meadow (But Loves a Good Fire) 131

Shell-Shocked: A Return to the Front (Burner) 146

Christopher Walken, Gardener 162

Cereal Killer 186

Statuary Rape 208

Harvest Jam 220

The Existentialist in the Garden 238

The $64 Tomato 247

Childbirth. Da Vinci. Potatoes. 256

Acknowledgments 267

Suggested Reading 269

Recipes for the Paperback Edition 271

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

bgose, September 26, 2006 (view all comments by bgose)
A must read for any gardener! Alexander's problems will make you feel better about the effort and money you invest in your garden. And you'll laugh out loud again and again.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781565125032
Subtitle:
How One Man Nearly Lost his Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for the Perfect Garden
Author:
Alexander, William
Publisher:
Algonquin Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
Vegetable gardening
Subject:
Farmers & Ranchers
Subject:
Gardeners
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Humor : General
Subject:
Gardeners - Hudson
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20060414
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8 x 5 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Home and Garden » Gardening » Writing
Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General

The $64 Tomato Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill - English 9781565125032 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Indeed, the book is one long horticultural midlife crisis, or else Genesis: The Sequel — what would have happened had God decided to employ Adam as a gardener and transmuted Eve's lust into a predilection for bottling fruit. At one point Alexander wonders, 'Am I becoming my garden, or is my garden becoming me?' It is a question that will resonate with many gardeners."
"Review" by , "An amusing compilation of do's and don'ts for aspiring gardeners afflicted with hubris."
"Synopsis" by ,
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.
"Synopsis" by ,
Who knew that Bill Alexander's simple dream of having a vegetable garden and small orchard would lead him into life-and-death battles with webworms, weeds, and a groundhog named Superchuck? Over the course of his hilarious adventures, Alexander puzzles over why a six-thousand-volt wire doesn't deter deer but nearly kills his tree surgeon; encounters a gardener who bears an eerie resemblance to Christopher Walken; and stumbles across the aphrodisiac effects of pollen when he plays bumble bee to his apple blossoms.

When he decides (just for fun) to calculate how much it cost to grow one of his beloved Brandywine tomatoes, he comes up with a staggering $64. But as any gardener knows, you can't put a price tag on the rewards of homegrown produce, or on the lessons learned along the way.

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