Mega Tomato

A couple of weeks ago I posted a picture of a giant tomato from my garden. It was still green, so we put it in a bag with some apples and bode our time. Lo and behold, the tomato ripened into the glorious yellow beauty it was meant to be.

We sliced it up, unsure of what we’d find. Would it be ripe inside? Would it be rotten to the core?

Perfect! It was perfect! But what to do with such a giant tomato?

Giant BLT!

So how was the tomato? It was delicious. Absolutely perfectly delicious. We even let the baby try it.

From her face you might be led to believe that she didn’t like it. You’d be wrong, though. That’s just the face she makes when she tries something new.

See? We took it away and she wanted more. You know you grew a tasty tomato when a baby likes it.

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My posting has been skimpy lately. I’m sad about that, because I was hoping to better document the time that is my transition to being a parent. It’s been overwhelming, though, and I’m just not able to keep up. A lot of things have fallen by the wayside. Recipe creation, crafting, daily chats with my best friend, my exercise and nutrition goals… Blogging just one of many.

One of the things I’m having the hardest time keeping up with is gardening. We tried really hard to get everything ready in the weeks leading up to the birth. The weeks that followed it were virtually gardenless. It’s tough to balance a newborn with anything, especially the first time out of the gate. A groundhog destroyed almost everything, which just completely drained my garden reserves. We almost abandoned it altogether.

Happily, we managed somewhat of a comeback. I took our one lone bean vine and re-wrapped it up the trellis. It came back stunningly, and we’ve had many beany meals. Our herbs fared amazingly, the only one the groundhog really damaged beyond repair was the tarragon. The carrots tried and tried, but their tops kept getting eaten off. After the third time

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We call groundhogs Gary. All of them. Until recently I thought Garys were great. They’re cute, chubby, furry little things. And then Gary came and ate my garden. He ate the tops off of every carrot. He pulled the beans and peas from my trellis, eating every leaf there was. He ate my parsley, my tarragon, half of my cilantro. He ate the tops of my tomato plants. My yellow squash, my zucchini, my cucumber, all destroyed. My dreams of a plentiful harvest are gone. When I saw the devastation I cried. When I saw Gary again, I was wishing I had a pellet gun in my hand. I’d kill Gary in a heartbeat. All of my hard work, all the time and effort, all the money we put into the garden. Hell, I was out there transplanting seedlings and sowing seeds when I was 9 months pregnant. I was pulling weeds and watering baby plants when I was only 1 week into recovery from my cesarean. I worked hard for that garden. And in one night a hungry groundhog ruined everything. Well, not quite everything. I still have basil growing. I still have some puny pepper plants, and the

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Gardening 2011

Yesterday I was featured on My Square Foot Garden! This is super exciting for me, because I don’t think I’ve ever been featured anywhere before. Certainly not for my garden, anyway.

Just a couple days ago my husband and I ordered our seeds from the Seed Savers Exchange. I’m very excited to use lots of heirloom and organic varieties, most of which would not have been available to me had we gone with Burpee for our seeds like we did last year. The variety of tomatoes and peppers they offer is just astounding; it made it really hard to choose.

After much debate, we decided to go with the following list:

Climbing French Pole Beans
Lazy Housewife Pole Beans (How could I resist such a name?)
Scarlet Nantes Carrots
Japanese Climbing Cucumbers (I might try my hand at pickling!)
Tennis Ball Head Lettuce
Amish Snap Peas
Green Arrow Peas
Bulgarian Carrot Peppers (They didn’t have jalapeno, these look close.)
Sweet Chocolate Bell Peppers
Black Beauty Zucchini
Yellow Crookneck Squash
Chalk’s Early Jewel Tomato (This variety was developed 30 miles from my home!)
Gold Medal Tomato (I couldn’t resist a yellow tomato with such a lovely description)
Genovese Basil

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Last Week In Our Garden

Last week our square foot garden was in its prime. With everything looking good, I thought I should snap some pictures. Above is a head of “EZ Serve” lettuce, which is a compact variety of romaine.

Spicy Arugula

Our arugula is growing so well. It’s really sad that we planted it in the wrong season, and as such it is way too spicy. I mean, it could not be any spicier. One leaf will burn your mouth off. It’s terrible.

Heads of Endive

This is the endive. It’s delicious, and almost all gone now. What is left will be made into salads this week, as next weekend we’ll be tearing out whatever is left.

Our plan is to remove a whole heap of the soil and start amending it. We’ll take out about 1/3 of the clay soil that is in there, and mix it with a bail of peat moss and 1/3 of the compost we’ve been making since March. Then we’ll have a nice fresh bed to plant our salad greens in, and we plan to keep a rotation going in this box throughout the winter, since it is the closest one to the house.

Young Basil Plant

Our basil is finally growing, but there is

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