19 May 2007

May 19 Tomato Update

The main tomato plants are doing well--they're up to around 18" high. But I had a few early surprises in other parts of the garden.

The cayenne pepper plant I placed in a pot has had lovely little white flowers for the past week, and I found a few that had taken hold and begun to produce peppers. It may be difficult to see in this photo--look to the center left, and you'll see a tiny green pepper that's less than a quarter inch in length. Overall there are some fifty blossoms on the small plant, so I should have an ample supply of fiery cayennes all summer long.

(Between the tiny pepper and the tiny tomato, I'm tempted to harvest some cilantro when it's just poking up out of the soil in order to create the world's first microsalsa, and thus initiate an annoying new culinary trend.)

One of my "volunteer" tomato plants that sprung up in the old tomato patch showed blossoms last week, and this week I noticed that some of them had actually set fruit. Here, officially, is what will probably be my first tomato of the season. Based on the leaves and the shape, I think it's one of the Yellow Pears from last year. Who knows? It might be some bizarre hybrid or new variety.

I'm amazed at the resiliency of these mystery plants. The fruit dropped off the vines last year and lay buried in the ground over the winter. For months I dropped vegetable peels and rotten oranges and all of my non-meat/non-dairy kitchen waste in the patch, as well as the last remnants of the composted grass clippings. I churned up the soil in the spring, and after deciding to build the new patch, basically ignored it. Lo and behold, tomatoes and potatoes have sprouted, and I can't wait to see what else pops up. This area gets hardly any sun at this time of year, yet the plants are flourishing and will probably produce a great crop.

One of the first Latin quotes I ever learned was from Horace: Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret. Though you drive nature out with a pitchfork, she will always return. This actually refers to people's inborn character and that no one can really change, but I've always appreciated it for its on-the-face application to gardening. At 12 I angrily mumbled it when I had to weed the flower beds, but now I'm able to say it in a positive way.

1 comment:

Papa Squirrel said...

I think you're on to something with the microsalsa. You could sell it along with microbrews. Now you need to work out micro(corn)chips.