Friday, July 04, 2008

Adopt a Crop: RED

Me: Bubba! You want to see the most awesome thing! Wait! I have to get my camera! You want to see the most awesome thing! (Notice how none of these are really questions, more like orders.)

Bubba: Yes. Ok. I mean, YES! Let me change my clothes!

Me: Ugh. Fine. COME ON. The most awesome thing is out there!

Two seconds go by...

Bubba: Ok! I'm ready!


Bubba: (under his breath) Love my wife. Don't kill my wife. Love my wife. This better be awesome.

Just kidding, he didn't say anything like that, but I wouldn't 100% blame him for thinking it. Frankly, he was totally "ready to see the awesome thing" I was screaming about, so bless him. He knows my crazy.

I led him out to the garden (Obviously. You didn't think there was something awesome in the basement, did you?) by his pinkie finger and around to the back of the beds where we barely go because a mystery creature keeps leaving black mystery dumps back there EW, and after navigating the mystery poo piles I pointed very enthusiastically at this beauty here:

Awesome, right?!

To which Bubba appropriately exclaimed: NICE! IT'S ABOUT TIME, TOMATOES!

Yes, I do believe he thought it to be an awesome occurrence as well. The first tomato of the season.

*Sigh* As sad as it may sound, I totally live for this. I won't go banging on about the depth and severity of my particular tomato-inspired brand of crazy because you can read all about that here, but just know that my world is all right in the head now and I can go on living another day because no matter how many people flip me off in traffic or insist on leaving their five year old in charge of their cart while they run out of line at Trader Joe's to just get one more thing of blanched almonds, I can go on with my life knowing that tomatoes are on their way and that being jailed for manslaughter at this moment would be the worst torture ever because my tomatoes are just coming into season and I can not miss it.

Not even for strangling a parent who returns with yet even more than just blanched almonds like twenty minutes later to banshee shriek at their five year old for eating a candy bar off the rack and HOW COULD I LET THAT HAPPEN WHY DIDN'T YOU DO ANYTHING.

Hey, I wasn't going to stop the kid. I like candy, too. Except I'm worried about the fatness and he clearly is not, so I say, live it up, kiddoo!

All said, we are mere weeks (days?) from sinking teeth into Tomato #1 and then you know things get real fucking crazy around here with canning and sandwiching and bacon (more on this later) and the Best Tomato Sauce Ever. Yep. and what not.

Gird your loins, folks - the tomatoes are upon us.

Also, there's melons. Ok, there's ONE melon. But that is because I ripped out the squash of doom and the very bright sun and surviving squash beetles tried to kill the plant and its babies dried up.

But do not fear! I have killed many squash bugs and do twice daily checks (oh no, I am not anal retentive at all) on the plants to search for more bugs to crunch between my fingers so that I can watch their evil plant sucking goo come squirting out their behinds. SO - maybe more will grow and I will be able to enjoy eating a Midget Melon if only to tell the tale.

And I'm sorry if that description about bug smashing was too graphic for you, but you'll just have to accept that I support squash bug genocide as long as it is done in a non-chemical type way. Like by smashing with my hand. BASTARDS.

I need sunscreen.

There's also some bean action happening. Specifically the beans are climbing the peas, which sounds porny, but it's really quite cute. When Bubba asked me what kind of beans they were, my only answer was, "Green", which seemed normal to me, but made him give me that look of, "Really now. Do you think?" and so I will say that they are specifically Blue Lake String Beans and that's all I know.

They also seem to like the remaining snap peas in the biblical sense.

Hey baby, you from around these parts?

Chard. Oh the damn chard. It took the opportunity to grow into a hedge while I was out of town trying not to die in a tornado and when I found it upon my return, I do believe my cries were heard throughout the town.

But I got it into check, if only for a moment, and I will post the recipe(s) for Chard Killing soon with a story about my Awesome Stalker and how I'm not afraid of being chopped up in the night. At least not by him.

I'm such a fraidy cat!

Do not fear me. I don't have opposable thumbs. Yet.

I'm getting annoyed with the bell pepper. To the point where we've renamed him the Bell Pecker. And in some more inspired moments, the Bell Peckerhead, because he's growing vuurrrrrrrryyyyy slowly.

These blooms (shone in the yellow haze cast upon us by recent wildfires circling our quaint valley) were a long time coming and I do think there *may* be a teensy bell pecker developing from one. Another two just fell the fuck off, so who knows what's going on here.

Again, I blame the soil.

Call me a peckerhead, will you?

This is the Tastes Like Bitter Ass lettuce I was referring to the other day. It's now in a wilted pile near the compost bin getting ready to be turned into future soil. It bolted recently, as happens in the heat of summer, and so we will use its space for late season beets because I can't be bothered to create any shading apparatus under which to grow more lettuce. Sorry Square Foot Gardening Guy, I am too lazy for this kind of thing.

Lettuce tree.

Remember I said there was a volunteer pumpkin somewhere near my basil? Yes, right. There's now a pumpkin plant everywhere near my basil. Which is AOK with me, as long as it doesn't start attracting more squash bugs for me to kill because frankly the activity is starting to annoy me.

But I do hope this guy makes pumpkins. That'd be rad.

I mean no harm.

I had a nice little harvest when we got home from the trip of a thousand hail softballs and, since, I have eaten all of this. Some with Bubba, some without. The strawberries were especially good since I've broadened my anal retentive gardening habits to include Strawberry Perching in addition to Squash Bug Crunching.

To keep the soil-born strawberry munchers from ruining my crop of berries, I perch the green newbies up on the higher berry leaves to keep them out of harm's way. Sure, I could probably put some type of plastic mulch under them or something, but Perching is what I can do when I'm still in my work clothes and the inspiration strikes.

I think this is also the last of the radishes.
I guess I don't really need to do an update on the sunflowers, since I've technically never planted them and they're not really a crop per se, but this one is particularly amazing because it's a volunteer growing outside the beds and right in front of the dutch gate we share with our nice neighbors. So, basically, despite the constant smashing that happens when we open the gate and traipse to and fro, he has lived and thrived and has about 10 of these flowers on his one big stem/trunk.

I am so sexy. It's hard to look away from my face.

And, finally, because I know you're all out of breath like I am, the real Adopted Crop update: cucumbers.

Fluffy has jumped ship and begun to seek acreage outside of his bed. Which is fine by me since there's plenty of space to roam, as Bubba and I have done 100% of nothing with the rest of the back BACK yard. Grow all you want, bud, you're the whole show right now.

I will be in Pickle Round #3.

Wee Man here is doing pretty well, given that he is slow as hell and appears to only produce flowers and never any fruit. I'm OK with it if only because he's alive and hasn't made me cry with his dying. Also, no squash bugs have been sighted on his leaves, and that is good news.

I found one on Fluffy the other day and nearly went at it with a hatchet.

Don't worry about me down here. I'll be fine.

And that's it. I mean, there's more, but I can't justify going on since I'm pretty sure my subscriber number has gone down just as you've read through this post.

But next week I hope to have a little more variety in the posts, even if it's just one day when I show you the fun gift I made for my Grandma for her 84th birthday. It's pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. And it doesn't have anything to do with the garden, as may come as a relief to you all.

I will also have at least one Chard Killer recipe and then some not so nice things to say about what it's like to drive Northern California freeways on 4th of July. OH - and there's a bacon surprise coming soon, too.

Mmmm...unexplained bacon...


  1. we found ourselves jumping for joy (literally) the other night when we saw two little tomatoes on our smallest tomato plant. it's kind of sad to watch two adults getting excited by something the size of a ping-pong ball, but after last summer's bounty (and the best damn tomato sauce ever that resulted from it), i now have something to look forward to. so i get it, in all of its awesomeness.

  2. Your tomato is beautiful! You should be very proud!

  3. JEALOUS!! No red on our tomatoes yet--they're still growing. And still very, very green. Boo.

    I have to say that "Unexplained Bacon" sounds like the perfect title for a mystery story.

  4. I love your garden posts because they properly display that you are the good kind of crazy. Keep it up!

  5. I do so wish that I could grow stuff, but I suck at that and so have to rely on the green thumbs of others... but the though of a big fat BLT made me drool. Just wanted to let ya know! :)

  6. Ok I was fully entertained by the entire posts, especially when the photo captions were talking for the vegetables (and the sexy sunflower). I love me some bacon, and cannot wait for that story!


[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.

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Sucks, right?

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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.