Saturday, June 20, 2009

PG-rated tomatoes

OK, so my vegetable garden is not doing so well. I harvested 4 peppers to make pepper steak, so that is one small victory. And we got 2 small (but VERY delicious) cucumbers before all the rest of the budding cukes shriveled up and DIED. No idea why we got 2 good ones even.

We've had a handful of tiny strawberries, and Teddy and I carefully shared the one fat blueberry from the bushes in front. The blueberry yield being low is intentional, as I nipped all the blooms off to encourage root formation for the first year or 2. Two buds got by me and started to fruit. The birds got one, and we got the other.

I am having a terrible time with tomatoes, though. This specimen at left is the second tomato to go from slightly orange, to red and exploding out of its skin in less than 2 days.

DH did a little research, and the problem is either that the watering is inconsistent (I'm trying!) or the side yard is so hot, it may be boiling the tomato in its skin and causing it to burst.

If we ever get another tomato ripening, I will pick it as soon as it starts to blush. Hopefully we will get one good tomato this summer, thought it is not looking likely.

If I were to add up all the produce we are likely to get from my gardening efforts, ignoring the cost of water and my time, it would probably come out to about $10 per vegetable. Good thing the world is not relying on my meager efforts toward relieving the food crisis!

OK, so now we come to the PG-rated portion of this posting. Actually, "R" might be more appropriate... Those of you with delicate sensibilities may wish to look away. I'll leave a big space so you don't accidentally view the naked tomato below.



what have we here?....

I spotted this in the middle of the night while watering my Earthbox container. I could see that something was protruding from the fruit, so I clipped it off the vine and tossed it toward the garbage can. I thought it was some humongous worm crawling out, and was so grossed out, I washed my hands when I went back inside.

In the morning, the tomato was still there, with the same protrusion, unchanged from the night before.

A few experimental pokes with a long-handled gardening tool, and I was assured that whatever that was, it was not a creature of any kind. I inspected my other tomatoes, and none of the rest show any indication of this mutation.

I asked DH to help me dissect it, but for some reason, he felt hesitant to slice open the, umm..., appendage. I was still freaked that it was some kind of bug, so I finally persuaded him to do the honors.

As you can see from the photo, the tomato, and its little boy-part, are entirely vegetal. HOW WEIRD.

No, that did not go into my salad.

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