Thursday, May 15, 2008

Adopt a crop update: Must focus

OK, so I was so excited about something else in the garden that I almost didn't give the Adopted Crop of choice the first mention here. So let me just say it so I can get to the thing that has my pants on fire right now - We have cucumbers, folks!

Yes, it's true. The cucumbers are on the plant that I bought at the nursery which was well past its "I'm going to get chewed to death by a ravenous garden asshole" stage, and a lot closer to putting out fruit than the wee lad I planted from seed three times and is just starting to think about putting out, say, a vine or something, BUT STILL, having baby cucumbers sproinging loose all over this more mature plant is pretty exciting and I'm looking at my pickling book a lot more seriously lately and with a lot fewer doubts in my mind as to whether I'll actually crack the spine on it this season or not.

Thanks to the surprise, and frankly shocking, random heat wave we're having, the garden is doing all kinds of fantastic things. Like, say, growing for instance.

Which brings me to the thing that was so awesome that I almost forgot about the cucumbers altogether: Tomatoes.

Specifically - we have our first tomato.

I know! Just try not to pee your pants with excitement!

Because this means that The Big Garden Moment of the Year about which I am thinking whenever I do any old thing that has to do with our yard, dirt, plants, house, food and life is nearly upon us.

Like I can almost feel the heat on my back as I crouch down next to the cages, reach my hands into the plant and go ahead and harvest a dozen pounds of tomatoes right there in my yard to make The Best Tomato Sauce Ever. Yep. or tomato sandwiches or canned tomatoes for winter or lusty Mellowed Tomatoes for Pasta or OH MY GOD SAVORY TOMATO PESTO PIE OH MY GOD I'M THINKING ABOUT IT RIGHT NOW AND IT'S AWESOME or whatever.

It's a very emotional time for me, folks, as you can probably tell and it was about the best thing I could have seen yesterday as the dog and I made our very slow and treacherous walk out to the garden in the surprise heat.

Suddenly, I didn't care at all that it was hot. I was like, meh, whatever, I'm wearing my favorite summertime shorts, my dirty flip flops and a wife beater that doesn't match. My hair is sticking to my back and I sorta stink from the surprise sweating and I'm drinking my cocktail from a dirty glass because I'm too lazy to wash it by hand and the dishwasher's full and I just don't care because LOOK AT THAT WILL YOU it's the first tomato of the season. WOW.

It really rights the world for me to see the first tomato pop loose from the plants.

So, YAY! rejoice! And also, the other plants are doing some cool stuff, too, and I'd feel like a mean mommy if I played favorites all the time, so look at what the other kids are doing:

This is the Ronde de Italia squash. It is impossible that I'm the only one afraid of this plant. It has a dozen fucking fruits on it for godssake. I mean, come on. Who can keep up with a plant like this?

This is my one beet. It's not doing a lot but I feel like if I talk about it and give it some attention, it might grow or talk some of the other beets into growing. That'd be swell because right now, this is a pretty sad showing.

The chard is showing new growth which is great because it would appear that I can only handle chard in 2-20 pound increments.

I randomly planted some Kentucky Blue Lake green beans and they all germinated. So, we have beans now, too.

I planted the beans when I thought the snap peas were done for. Well, they're not. They're here and really good! Hopefully Bubba will be home soon to eat them all until he does something unfortunate in his pants.
Um. The midget melon has balls. Midget ones. I find this humorous because I am a child.

Also, the parsley is bolting, so I'll be replacing it with a giant hedge of every type of basil I can find because I want to make a lot of pesto to go with all my canned tomatoes. I was thinking more sweet basil, some Thai basil and maybe a lemon basil - let me know what your favorites are (and if you're local to San Jose, CA - where I can find them) and maybe I plant your favorites in The Basil Hedge, too.


  1. you are hilarious

  2. Oooh, you are so way ahead. I live in the same area - the one with the surprise heat wave, but unlike you who spent long hours tilling and planting and nurturing, I just plopped some heirloom tomato plants in the ground and watered. But they're growing, they are thriving. Only one died and the rest are big enough to reach through their little prison of tomato cones to sunbathe. It is definitley exciting.
    I vote for cinnamon basil since you're letting us. Way to go, you!!

  3. Hey, Miss Finny,
    My garden went in late due to sloth, procrastination and the like. But it's booming now! and I heartily join you in your good feelings. This year the gardener - you have to get one of those - put in SPRINKLERS, so I don't have to lug hoses around. This may delay the midsummer boredom which usually results in weeds and dead plants.
    Good luck to you, I love reading you.

  4. Can you recommend any good books for researching grow boxes/raised beds. We're considering it for next planting season but need to do our due diligence.

  5. nice! my tomatoes are nowhere near producing yet, but they're steading growing... I can't wait!! Your squash look great too!

    If you're ever around Palo Alto, I like Common Ground Organics just off El Camino near Stanford for garden needs -- also, I've seen herbs starts at many local farmer's markets, Palo Alto (California Ave) in particular

  6. Anonymous - You are mysterious and thank you.

    Vallen - Cinnamon basil, huh? What do you do with this with it's sweet flavor? I'm curious :) Also, good job just throwing your plants in the ground. Less work is always better. I do sort of feel stupid for working so hard, but well, that's me. ;)

    Jenny/Anonymous - A gardener?? Wowza. That'd be rad. But I do have sprinklers thanks to Bubba because I can't be trusted to lug hoses when it's so fucking hot out. Things die and then I get sad and no one wants that. Tell me about your garden - what did you plant?

    Hooli - Can I suggest Square Foot Gardening? He has instructions on how to build beds with this method and I'm so curious to see it come to fruition. Also Great Gardening Companions has some instruction as well and is a good book to boot.

    Jen - Ooh, can you believe I still haven't been to Common Ground? I'm such a loser. I will have to add that to my list. Yamagami's is sorta snooting me out right now. Sidenote: my beets are sad. I think I will have to wait for next year.

  7. Thanks to all your crop updates, I think I'm going to start an herb garden. They're fairly cheap, right? If I kill it, I figure I would have a good few weeks of fresh herbs anyway!

  8. Cinnamon basil has just got a hint of spice and an anise-y flavor. I used it when I made your eggplant stacks and it made a tasty mouthful. What that other reader said about Common Ground is a good suggestion but closer still, the Sunday farmer's market in Mountain View has been showing lots of nice plants. I'll look this weekend and let you know.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.