26 August 2013

historical jewish tomato harvesting

During late 1951 Eddie decided to try growing tomatoes in south Florida. The timing was perfect for him. The growing season for tomatoes didn’t start until the growing season in upstate New York ended, and it was over in time for Eddie to return to New York. He shipped his equipment to Florida and rented a modest field near Homestead, south of Miami, where he successfully grew a tomato crop.

The following summer he spoke enthusiastically about Florida farming to my father, and convinced him that he should join him in a larger tomato growing venture during the coming winter growing season. 

My parents would usually close their tavern for a winter vacation in Florida. The vacations had been limited when my sisters were in high school because they objected to missing classes, but once they both went to college and I was the only public school student, the vacation periods lengthened. I didn’t particularly mind missing some school. Although the school administration objected to my leaving school for a time, my father told them that he and my mother were going to Florida, and did they expect them to leave me home alone? While I was away, they marked my report card “on vacation” for the time that I was gone. Only one teacher, Miss Bennett, the mathematics teacher, penalized me by not letting me return to intermediate algebra, because she thought that I had missed too much while on vacation.