This past week was one of the busiest of the summer for your’s truly.  Our annual “Tomato Lovers’ Dinner” was scheduled for the end of the week and I put together an impossible list of things that I wanted done before this event.  They included non-gardening items like repairing part of the patio, installing a new door on the patio side of the workshop, removing all of the weeds from between the pavers in the garden, etc.  Needless to say, I was one tired puppy at the end of each day.

The garden did get some attention.  I managed to perform my weekly tomato maintenance with the added task of pruning off some of the leaves to encourage ripening.  Almost every variety was available for the dinner.  The only tomato that didn’t make the cut was a variety call “Zapotek”, native to Mexico.  Not a big deal.  One fact that I did not know when I bought the seeds was that this variety is nearly hollow; not a good thing in a tasting tomato.  I won’t bother to use it in future tastings.  We will use them for lunch, filling them with chicken salad, etc.

I did have a “there’s no fool like an old fool” moment last week.  I had it in my head that “Hillbilly” tomatoes were a big ugly red tomato that tastes good.  I had most of it right except the “red” part.  After researching the origins of the species for the tomato tasting, I discovered that “Hillbilly” ripens golden/yellow with red streaks.  My apologies to all of my friends that were given plants by the “old fool” and were told by “the old fool” that they were going to ripen red.  I even told my friend Rick Bertolami to be patient.  Sorry Rick.

NEARLY RIPE HILLBILLY TOMATO ON THE VINE

NEARLY RIPE HILLBILLY TOMATO ON THE VINE

Toward the end of the week I was able to spend a bit of time weeding the garden to make it ready for the “Dinner”.  I don’t know about you, but I find it harder to get my self motivated to weed the garden this time of year.  A couple of John Scofield albums on the Ipod helped get met through it, along with some Kermit Ruffins and a compilation of Meters hits.DSCN0833

A SHOT OF THE GARDEN LOOKING BACK TO THE HOUSE

A SHOT OF THE GARDEN LOOKING BACK TO THE HOUSE

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MY FOUR CROP ROTATION ON VIEW FROM LEFT TO RIGHT – ROOT CROP BED (SEE RADISH TENT), FRUIT CROP BED , LEAF CROPS, LEGUMES

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A CLOSER LOOK AT THAT FRUIT CROP BED. THIS IS A SHORT CROP TOMATO BED WITH SWEET PEPPERS, EGGPLANT, MELONS AND A CUCUMBER PLANT. THE METAL SUPPORTS ARE FOUR FOOT DIAMETER HOOPS THAT I USE FOR LOW TUNNELS IN THE FALL.

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FLOWERS ON THE END OF A LEAF CROP BED. THIS IS THE BRUSSELS SPROUTS PATCH

My next blog post will be devoted to the “Tomato Lovers’ Dinner”.  I bartered with a professional photographer who shot pictures of the whole event in exchange for a “Tomato Lovers’ Dinner” of his own.  He just dropped of the disc with the photos.  I can’t help myself. Gotta go.

All the best,

Greg Garnache