It's a Monday morning. I just parked my car and I'm dragging butt into work again. Today I’m carrying a large tomato (I emphasize the “large” part because I grew it and I’m proud of it) in one hand and my Pro Tools in the other. The Pro Tools is the computer sound editing system I use in my work. It occurs to me that I’d rather be making a living growing and selling tomatoes than using the Pro Tools. It also occurs to me that my backyard garden has so far yielded very little and this one tomato was the only thing worth picking this morning.
I'm disproportionately proud of this single (did I mention large?) tomato. More-so than many of the TV shows I've worked on in the past twenty years. A feeling somewhere between winning the Pinewood Derby when I was seven years old and the birth of my children. Don't get me wrong, the births of my children are the single most important moments of my life... twice. But, these are the best tasting tomatoes I've had since eating them straight from my grandfather's garden nearly 40 years ago! [This is probably as good a time as any to come clean: My dad did most of the work on my Pinewood Derby car. All right completely clean -- ALL of the work. I put the decals on. But I still won!]
The tomato is a German Queen heirloom that I’m bringing to a friend at work who also gardens. I haven’t told anyone in a long time that they really need to watch a TV show that I’ve worked on, but I tell this friend he has to try this tomato. He called the next day to tell me how good it was -- he raved about it. Maybe I could make a living at this tomato farming thing. I start calculating. I’ve picked six tomatoes since I planted them three months ago. Assuming a year-round Southern California growing season, that's a yield of 24 tomatoes per year. So, to make what I make now, I’ll need to charge around $5,000 for each tomato. I’m not sure they’re that good.