Friday, July 13, 2007

There's only two things money can't buy....that's true love, and home-grown tomatoes.

Texas singer-songwriter Guy Clark said that in a song about home-grown tomatoes (though that's not Guy singing in the link). Here's what I've picked in the last couple of days:

My favorites are an heirloom variety called "Cherokee Purple." They are as big as baseballs or softballs, don't have much pulp, and taste like heaven. Plus, they look really cool, with green tops and purpley-red bottoms.

We made some pesto the other day (from home-grown basil, of course), and topped it with warm cherry tomatoes. This variety is called "Sweet Millions," and the plants are really producing well.

Sadly, the neighborhood squirrels also like tomatoes. This one kind of survived, but I've thrown several away that weren't so good. I'm taking action to get those little suckers, though. I'll let you know how that goes.

I'm also growing green beans, okra, and Mississippi purple-hulled peas. (I guess I've got a thing for purple vegetables. Maybe because my high school colors were purple and white, or maybe because "purple" veggies are actually Aggie maroon.) Anyway, each of these crops is producing enough to give us a nice meal each week.

Here's the first pumpkin. It weighs 17 pounds, and I've got about a dozen more this size ripening. Interesting garden fact: you should plant pumpkins from mid-May to mid-June, instead of, say, early March before you go snowboarding. You should do that because you'll feel dumb if you pick pumpkins for Independence Day, before the watermelons get ripe. Pumpkins just belong to fall, not to summer. It's still a nice pumpkin, though.

Here's another panorama, with some handsome devil in an Aggie shirt, for scale. The purple tomatoes came from the big, bushy, dark-green plant at the back on the left. That plant likes my soil.


Sparky's mom said...

I can't believe those Cherokee purples. They aren't so pretty. I'd love to taste one.

dc said...

Tomatoes look really good. You are right; home-grown tomatoes are the best. I have harvested 30# - 40# of tomatoes so far and have frozen about 25# for winter use. Hope to try some of your heritage varieties soon.
I have had similar problems with squirels snacking on tomatoes and peppers. I think the electric fence I put up is helping keep them out now.