"The $64 Tomato" William Alexander

Posted on Fri 20 June 2008 in ClubReading

Bill and his wife are urbanites, or at least, suburbanites. They live in a small house in Yonkers, while Bill's wife finishes medical school and residency. The author works with computers and admits he has no handyman skills, but he has learned some home fix-it skills out of necessity, fixing up their house, and making some improvements.

His wife will finish her residency soon, and they are looking to move. They both want to live somewhere more remote, they have two prerequisites: a Main Street and a local newspaper. They eventually purchase the Big Brown House in a small town. The house comes complete with unfinished floors, leaking roof, no kitchen, two rusting cars in the barn, and three acres of land. But, they both fall in love with it and decide to make it home. Soon Bill hears the call of fresh vegetables. Not ones to do anything small, they hire a designer to create their perfect kitchen garden.

The book is about Bill's adventures in the garden, his battles with deer and a super-gopher, as well as pests, drought, grass and weeds. But this is much more then a gardening book, in fact, it is not a gardening book at all. The book shares Bill's philosophies, his thoughts and desires, and where he believes he fits in the world. It is a funny and uplifting read.