Sunday, July 27, 2008
Sun + Rain = Tomatoes, Right?
There’s no farmer girl in me. My dad grew up on a farm and we actually lived in the country on an acre. Growing up, Dad raised chickens only to chop their heads off and make us children pluck their feathers. I tell my father that any emotional upset I experience in my life can be traced back to that trauma – he just laughs. But I wonder sometimes if the reason I prefer eating chocolate over chicken has something to do with the headless chickens I defeathered as a child.
My Dad also had the biggest and best garden around. He planted everything himself and us children only stepped in when it was time to can or freeze something. When I went to start my own garden 8 years ago, I just assumed I was genetically inclined to be the master gardener my father was. Seriously, if you watch the news at all these days, you realize everything is genetic, right? Wrong! I was totally clueless. Luckily, my father gave me great advice on how to make my garden work and helped me get things started. We took my clay dirt and mixed in horse, cow, chicken, and goat manure. We tilled in good soil, nutrients and peat moss, and as a result, my garden has done quite well over the years. This spring we had the soil tested and when the results came back, I was happy to hear that everything tested superb –yeh! My garden was going to ROCK this year!
Everything started out good with my new strawberry plants producing scrumptious berries. Of course, I had a freak-out when the birds started feasting on them. I was out there like a mad scientist stapling mesh to the garden’s perimeter, leaving no entry possible for the birds. Ever since then, it’s been downhill. I don’t know, maybe it’s the sun or the live-giving rain that my plants have a problem with. Tommy the tomato has been the biggest disgrace to my garden. I chose him to be the centerpiece of my garden this year and he has let me down big time. I planted Pippie, a runt of a red pepper plant, and he has grown one inch – ONE – in two months! I did pull off three tiny cherry tomatoes this morning, so luckily I’ll have something for lunch today.
I guess I’ll have to count on the kindness and generosity of friends and neighbors to feed me this year. My friend, Jen has already given me squash – yum – my brother, lots of lettuce, and a patient brought me a bag of cucumbers, so I’ll be okay. I’m just disappointed in my crop this year. Next year, I’m gonna plant myself some sugar!
Posted by Sheri at Sunday, July 27, 2008