Ensiform's Reviews > The $64 Tomato: How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for the Perfect Garden

The $64 Tomato by William   Alexander
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's review
Jun 26, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, food
Read in June, 2007

The author tells of his ten-year struggles as a hobbyist gardener whose obsession with his garden turns him into a “gentleman farmer," cursing the work his supposedly relaxing hobby has brought him but unable to give up the fresh crops his family adorns their meals with.

It’s a pretty amusing book, sprinkled with anecdotes about his battle with weeds, his choice of mower, the futility of organic gardening on a small scale, garden decorations, and garden pest from grubs to woodchucks to deer. I was a bit put off by Alexander himself; I don’t know what exactly, but there’s something snobbish or aloof about him as he presents himself here. Perhaps it’s his casual attitude toward killing mammalian garden pests, or maybe he just seems like a smart aleck. Whatever, it’s a minor annoyance, the stories are mostly enjoyable, and I appreciated the lesson about the futility of trying to regulate Nature.

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