Friday, August 11, 2006

Vegetable of the Month

I can't quite decide, though. Is this carrot (which I just pulled from my garden, I didn't go looking for trouble) suggestive and immoral and should be sliced, diced, and boiled? Or is it being appropriately modest, and thus a role model for vegetables everywhere?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Found Poem

Documentation that my company publishes online includes an email address for customer feedback. Not surprisingly this generates a lot of spam, all of which gets trapped by our spam filter, but which requires a quick skim every few weeks to make sure a legitimate customer question didn't get quarantined by accident. When it builds up to a certain level, say 500 messages or so, a kind of poetic rhythm sometimes emerges in the subject lines. I'm not sayin' it's good poetry, just that it's there:

Invalid Information

Order status, milori blue
Order status, needle palm
Order status, night-eyed
Order status, Pan-gothic
From us it much better.

All products for your health!
Your health, milk snake
Your health, minister-general
Your health, ninety-three
Your health, Non-scandinavian
From us it much better.

Better Future, winder-on!
Your future, navel pipe
Your future, needle cast
Your future, ocean-smelling
Your future, pasture rose
From us it much better.

How much does your image cost?
Your cash, moon-tipped
Your money, oyster grass
Your cash, night heron
Your money, Parcel-greek
From us it much better.

Hi, never-trodden:
Is read of berry cornice
That listen no courtesan
All to communicate the mindset required
The word ecstatic comes to mind
From us it much better.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

First Sunday Tomato Check-in

Tiime for a status update in the tomato contest of Dr. Charles.

'Health Kick', aka 'Just Another Pretty Face' tomatoes are ripening nicely. They are pretty, aren't they? Too bad they taste like cardboard. I'm glad this is a determinate variety because that means I'll be able to pull up the plants in another month and put something else in that bed.
Still, they are undeniably attractive. And on Tiger Mountain, ripe tomatoes the first weekend in August is something to cheer about. I'm thinking these might work just fine in a lunchtime BLT:

'Super San Marzano', clearly a contender for "most sensuous". I mean, just look at the exquisite form. You can't see them all in the photo, but in the cluster that is beginning to ripen there are seven tomatoes:

'Brandywine', beginning to show color. This plant shows its unhappiness with our cold nights (still getting down to 49 F most nights inside the greenhouse) by refusing to set fruit, but the few that are produced are wonderful:

And finally, 'Prudens Purple' giving 'Brandywine' some serious competition for "greenhouse diva". Prudens has set just this one fruit, which holds great promise, but c'mon! One lousy tomato on a 6 foot tall plant?

Sunday, July 30, 2006


There are few events a gardener looks forward to more than the taste of the first homegrown tomato of the summer. It's the herald of things to come, of walking out to the garden in pajamas, barefoot, to pick a juicy ripe tomato and eat it on the spot, before coffee, even. It's even more exciting here on Tiger Mountain when that first tomato ripens in July.

Alas, the plant that offered up the season's first is one that was given to me this spring by a fellow gardener who was excited about the health benefits of a tomato with "50% more lycopene!". Sorry, but I eat tomatoes because they taste good, not because they are good for me, and I've had tastier tomatoes from the supermarket.

Compared to their decision to close the Heronswood Nursery this year, creating this tasteless fruit is a relatively minor crime on the part of Burpee & Co., but still. . . what were they thinking?!?!?
Let the gardener beware. 'Health Kick' from Burpee is not something you want to waste your time with.

Pollen Party

One of the hollyhocks fell over the other day, and the bees took advantage of the gravity assist to party on the pollen until they passed out. When I nudged one of them to see if they were even alive, it buzzed sleepily and burrowed even further into the flower.

Friday, July 28, 2006


There's just nothing cuter than a baby chick, even when it's not wearing a yarmulka.

Miracle in the hen house

Forget visions of the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich, or Christ Himself revealing his profile on the surface of a tortilla. When a chick emerges from the egg wearing a yarmulka, that's gotta' be a sign of something, right?

Monday, July 24, 2006

This Melon's Life

Coming along nicely. A few other assisted melons made it, perhaps 1 in 10. Better yet, the bees showed up last week and are taking care of business.