Wednesday, August 22, 2012


So there won't be many tomatoes coming out of my garden this year, so what.

I will carry on, I will continue to farm.  I planted kale, chard, arugula, peas, beets, mustard greens, and carrots last week and they popped up in just a few days.  Well everything except the carrots.

These fool proof plants will carry us into the fall with loads of leafy greens and the great tomato failure of 2012 will fade into insignificance.

I think of the fear of crop failure for people who really depend on their ability to grow their own food.  We have the luxury of growing food as an amusement, not a means of survival.  But for most of history and for many people in poor countries growing food is a life and death matter.

And in the additional irony department, here is a little dry farmed patch of volunteers that popped up where the compost bin used to be.

There are lots of tomatoes, sunflowers, squash, and buckwheat.  It has only received moisture that has fallen from the sky, no watering on my part. 

I'm not watering, but I'm not plowing them under either.  I think I'll just let them go and see how they do.  Maybe I'll thin them a little to enhance the chances of a few.

This reminds me how hardy and determined plants are.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

It's Official...2012 Tomato Season a Write Off.

Well, for me anyway.  Oh, I see plenty of healthy looking plants in other peoples gardens, with dark green leaves and limbs heavy with fruit.  But most of my plants succumbed to blight this year, probably due to my own laziness and neglect.  Only a couple of them have survived and look like they will make it to the fall.

I planted too early and didn't protect the tender plants from yet another cool, wet Oregon spring.  Next year, at the very least I will hood them with plastic bags over their cages to shelter them from overhead watering by the gods and splashing water and mud from the ground.

I'll still get a few tomatoes, especially Sungolds, the indomitable little candy factories.  But there will be no Black Krim, no San Marzano, and no Indigo Rose.  That's the one I was especially looking forward to tasting.  It claims to be the darkest cherry tomato ever.  

I'm less upset about this situation that I though I would be.  Easy come, easy go, I guess.  And there are plenty of tomatoes int he farmers markets.  So next year I will put tomatoes in the ground later and do a better job of tending them.  Hopefully.