Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Look At My Heirlooms!

The Mockingbird is the state bird of Texas, definitely a protected creature. Every summer, though, I think of ways to kill a mockingbird, for spoiling my beautiful homegrown tomatoes. I know on big farms they calculate on losing 30% of their crops to birds. The birds in my small patch take their 30% too - they peck 1/3 of each fruit away, about 1 day before I pick it at maximum ripeness. They only eat 30%, but they will spoil 100%.

This year Anthony discovered the little pinwheels my parents gave the kids are effective bird deterents. After strategically placing them, and checking the vines twice a day, I am starting to be rewarded:


The jewel in the center is a Cherokee Purple - its streaked green and red, which gives it a chocolatey color. I guess purple sounds better than brown. The golden orbs are Earl of Edgecombe. Since they are yellow, they escape the mockingbird's gaze. I walked by them yesterday and their orangey ripeness called to me! I had not noticed them previously. The red ones are good, standard tomatoes. The two on the bottom grow on a vine that seems to set twins, identical tomatoes alternating in pairs up the vine.

Here's what we do with the bounty - Insalata Caprese:







Anna is finding her own summer projects, and found this one for making a doll in her craft book. It took her several days to sew it all by herself by hand, although she got exponentially faster toward the end. Today, she finally got to stuff it and sew the edge shut. She loves her new doll, just like I told her she would when she got discouraged by all the hard details of sewing!
















New post on the food blog!

11 comments:

Emily said...

What a great project! She looks very proud of herself.

(Hey, Jenn, there's a naked boy in the background!)

get2eric said...

Man do I miss my tomatoes in ELP! I bought 1 little plant in Houston and it grew to enormous height. I had puned it properly and it got blooms but, No fruit so I pulled it last week and chucked it. I must have been too late ( April 15 ) when I started it.

Yours look good and thanks for the reminder about pushy mockingbirds. I looked for ways to discourage the ones diving on Patch several weeks ago.

get2eric said...

I had pruned it properly Too!

A.Norma said...

Eric!! you should have left it alone it would have produced...Jennifer..you get first prize for presentation and what wonderful fruits...Anna..I thought that was a real doll/animal! you have done well there...top marks.
Eric..my Tommy plants have absolutely loads of flowers...but no fruit yet !!! we fed them again this morning...hope I don't have to 'chuck' mine!! I have the big Beefy ones and the tiny cherry ones in red and a new strain of yellow,red,and orange cherry toms.Good luck anyway ..go get it out of the bin!

EdamameMommy said...

Well, I hear you on the birds eating just a chunk of each fruit. Happened here to mine too. I only got a few tomatoes and they were not great tasting due to too much rain. Houston is not the place for 'maters, I think. Daddy didn't want my advice on the soil deficiencies here, even though I've got 7 years of experience trying to grow them here. Oh well, maybe next year you should give him some of your chicken sh*t and compost, Jenn, so his can look like yours.

EdamameMommy said...

Oh, lawsy (as our great aunts might say) Em's right -- there is indeed a very full frontal shot of C in the background of the proud Anna pic. HOLY GUACAMOLE, you might want that off the 'net...

peevish said...

I can't believe your tomatoes aren't all cracking due to the rain. They look so beautiful & delicious. Like that Guy Clark song says "There's only 2 things that money can't buy and that's True Love and homegrown tomatoes".

And Ruby will be so impressed when she sees Anna's doll. Yea, Anna!

get2eric said...

Yeah well, I don't have enough room to be messing with the soil. I just popped in the one plant to satisfy an urge-- I was too late I think. Next year maybe I will do some bag-tomatoes.

Jennifer said...

Yikes, I had not noticed nudie Colin! I guess I focused on the subject and her doll! Thank goodness I didn't post something of myself, like that woman who took a photo of her son and emailed it to everyone she knew. An acquaintance had to point out that you could see her naked image in the bathroom mirror in the background! I mean, I know my posture is not the most flattering when I am taking snaps of my kids. The horror!

Thanks, Anth, for shopping the photo and having it ready to edit before I got home from work today!

Leigh-Ann said...

Wow, those look great! I haven't been able to grow tomatoes since I moved to this dry climate -- the skin gets hard and cracks, and I know I'm not the only one having problems. It's sad because tomatoes are the one food item which always taste better when it's homegrown.

Library Lady said...

Yum, yum, YUM!
Here in Virginia, no tomatoes yet--though there are some tiny green ones on the plants.
Lots of basil though. So as soon as I have the tomatoes, it's caprese time, not to mention caprese salad sandwiches!