Tomatoes – no pane, no gain
Sir, – I enjoyed Fionnuala Ward’s Irishwoman’s Diary about tomatoes (Irish Times, 20/7/18July 20th).
Sadly, my youthful memories of tomatoes are not quite so blissful. I spent my teenage summers picking tomatoes in the glasshouses of Lusk and Rush in Co Dublin. The atmosphere was hot and dusty, even in the mid to late 1980s, when summers were noticeably cooler than this year’s. The work was boring and repetitive. You had to constantly bend down to pick the tomatoes, which resulted in backache. Pay and conditions were poor. Lunch was eaten on an upturned bucket. I recall leaving the glasshouse for the last time and hoping never to work there again. Unlike your Diarist, I felt relieved that the era of the tomato was over for me. – Yours, etc,