Monday, August 29, 2011


During the summer, my garden takes up lots of my spare time (hence, the delay since my last post). But home grown tomatoes are a necessity of life, and so it goes.

It was a crazy summer of weather, with a storm in July that knocked out power to much of our county for DAYS. After all the rain, which came in bursts, the weeds arrived in full vengeance. Turn my back for a week, maybe 10 days, and... HOLY @#(&%^&#!!!!! The buggers have taken over!

I am thankful for the help with watering the garden in between bursts of torrential rain. (My watering buddy is mostly my son, who likes to water but gets most of it on himself rather than the tomato plants). And now, it's harvest time.

...and there are more coming.........

I have a little rabbit who has been a visitor since the spring. I'm thinking he is the one who has sampled many tomatoes but decides each time it's not for his palate. He (if he is indeed the culprit) takes one big bite out of the ripest tomato and leaves it hanging there, forlorn.

I also have "volunteers" in the garden. These are stray seeds that managed to flourish from being rototilled into the soil and sprung forth, encouraged by the hot midday sun. I'm usually so curious to see what will be produced on the vine that I don't pull them like those darn weed invaders. This year I have some weird cross-pollination between a gourd and what I think is a yellow crookneck squash.

Could be that the yellow squash, if left alone, gets a hard exterior and BECOMES an ornamental gourd..... or it's just completely a mutant. Most of them have become a blazing orange color with a hard and bumpy exterior. They will be fun guests in Halloween and Thanksgiving décor. I also have mini pumpkins and the usual dill weed that came back this year.

But back to the tomatoes. After a few days of being preoccupied with other things, I surveyed the garden to see that there was about a half bushel of ripe tomatoes. Not just ripe, but bursting with juice and hanging there like overfilled water balloons. Some had even let loose and dropped to the earth before I could pick them.

An abundance of tomatoes leads to 27 versions of tomato salad, tomato pie, marinara sauce, BLTs, etc., etc., etc. One of the simplest ways to present tomatoes to the dinner table, right out of the garden, is layered with fresh buffalo mozzarella, drizzled with a good olive oil, and sprinkled with fresh basil, salt and pepper. (Sometimes I also use balsamic vinaigrette, but not this time.)

And then there are the low maintenance, lovely-to-see-you sunflowers.

So unassuming.

So cheerful.

So tall and stately.

I imagine they have little gossipy conversations about me behind my back.