As opposed to the life-affirming, spirit-enhancing stages of tomato growing where we sow seeds, watch them emerge from the soiless soil and grow to viable seedlings under the artificial light, we now enter the real world . Oh sure, we're lulled into a kind of stupid bliss as we watch the plants grow gorgeous green leaves and thick stalks. And then lovely little yellow flowers pop out. And, if you've been good and are very lucky (at least that's what it feels like ) tiny, tiny tomatoes take the place of the now drooping flowers. Quite magical . HOWEVER, we've also entered our own little version of Tennyson's "Nature, red in tooth and claw": the disease and bug phase lasts until the last withered leaf sinks into the dirt. . I've just spent at least an hour and a half squashing and rubbing out aphids that are rapidly laying eggs to reproduce their worthless selves on the undersides of my babies' leaves. It's like going on tick patrol after a hike in the high grasses. But at least I can attempt to do something about them. However when it comes to diseases like the different wilts that afflict tomato plants you are left with nothing to do but slump your shoulders and prepare to put the plant out of its misery. Of course this happens just as its loading up with unripe tomatoes, teasing you with what might have been. OK. Thank you all for letting me vent.