Ode to My Brandywine Tomato

It’s a big day for me. One I’ve been waiting for for a very long time.

See those yellow blossoms? They may look like just any other tomato blossoms but they’re very special to me.

Let me tell you the tale of my Brandywine Tomato.

It started in the early spring of 2010 when I decided to start some tomato seeds. I have never grown tomatoes from seed before and decided it was high time I did. I sowed some seeds and waited for the magic to happen.

Much to my delight most of them germinated and before too long I had sprouts growing taller every day. But something went horribly wrong. Many, eventually most, of my little sprouts succumbed to something and they shriveled up and died. I was heartbroken but not defeated.

I did research, read blogs, and came up with a plan for the spring of 2011. I purchased organic Brandywine tomato seeds and I bought a warming mat to put my tray of seeds on to encourage root growth. And when the seeds germinated I bought a plant light for my fledgling seedlings. This year it would work!

But alas it was not to be. Again, the seedlings grew tall and spindly and many of them again succumbed to something; I was left with just two hardy seedlings. When the weather was warm enough I set my little tray outside and tended to my would-be tomato plants. Nothing. The sprouts did absolutely nothing more.

In desperation one day I decided to plant them in the corner of my garden. It was sink or swim time for my little seedlings.

I watched them carefully. I shouted at my husband when he accidentally stepped on the smallest one. And I tended them until something magical began to happen. They started growing!

Now our weather this summer was unseasonably cold and wet; it’s really only in the past month that we’ve had a summer to speak of. But my Brandywine tomatoes have flourished in this late season. Every day after work I’ve checked on them, waiting, watching, hoping.

And today! Ta da! My Brandywine tomato is flowering! Oh it’s a happy day in the Hoye household, I’ll tell you!

Now I don’t know if the weather will stay warm enough for my little friend to actually produce tomatoes. When frost threatens I’m fully prepared to replant my Brandywine tomato in a pot so I can bring it indoors until I get just one tomato from it. I’m not sure if the little guy would appreciate the move, but I’m willing to give it a try.

So now I know – I can grow a tomato plant from seed! Next year – who knows what new worlds I will conquer!


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. Congratulations,Linda! My husband grows all his vegetables from seeds and nurtures them like children so I understand the process you have endured. We have enjoyed luscious tomatoes of all varieties from the garden this year. But, alas, the time for store-bought tomatoes is upon us and I can only dream of those plump treasures. Like you say, there’s always next year and new worlds to conquer 🙂

  2. This post made me smile – the triumph glows from the screen. I sure hope you get at least on good tomato. Did you ever figure out why your seedlings aren’t thriving?

  3. You go girl! Conquer away! Hope they make it. 🙂

  4. This reminds me of that line from somewhere–“all things come to those who wait.”
    I’ve always noted that the word “patiently” isn’t there!

    But you, Linda, were patient and I so hope that you are rewarded with a tomato–or two!


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