Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I'm A Farmer!

How about this? Our very own balcony-grown tomatoes! We actually picked five of them yesterday, all tiny little cherry tomatoes. We ate three of them immediately, and they're everything you could want in a tomato -- sweet and pungent, like a bite of sunshine. We have three varieties -- the ones above are called "tigrella," striped red and orange. I really DO feel like Oliver Wendell Douglas.

The plants themselves still look pathetic. The lower leaves are very yellow. I'm hoping the rest of the tomatoes make it to harvest -- at least enough so we can give some to our neighbors Chris and Linda, who gave us the plants. Next year I'll know not to plant them so close together.

Our friend Adam, from New Jersey, is staying with us now. Fortunately Adam has been to London several times so he doesn't need to do the tourist circuit. We're just spending time together in a more leisurely way. Yesterday Dave took him up to the school where he teaches, and afterward we went to lunch at Masala Zone. (The sign above the restrooms there reads "Toilet Zone," which my juvenile mind finds very funny.) Then we went to a cafe on Old Compton Street, the traditionally gay neighborhood of Soho, where we had a great time people-watching -- guys with fluorescent hair or inches-high platform shoes, leggy female models transfixed by their cell phones.

We were going to walk back through Hyde Park, but of course it started spitting rain, so we saved our park outing for today.

Oh, and I picked up some paperwork related to my new part-time job as substitute teacher coordinator for the school where Dave teaches. I'll be the person on call to line up a substitute when someone's out sick or in training or on a school trip. I looked over all the documents last night, and began having some serious anxiety -- what if I can't find someone? How will I juggle all the requests? (It seems like there are at least ten teachers out every day, sometimes many more than that.) Yeesh. Job stress. I'd forgotten what that's like.


Elizabeth said...

We have oodles of those little cherry tomatoes on our plant, and the leaves at the bottom are yellowish and scraggly, too. We've always had thriving tomato plants, and they've ALWAYS looked like that, so I'd say no worries for yours!

e said...

As long as the tomatoes are good, no worries about the plant. I hope you enjoy your new part-time job!

Dave said...


Lynne said...

Congrats Farmer Steve! There is nothing quite like a tomato you've grown yourself. We did that one year, in pots on our deck (our soil is too rocky to plant directly in, plus the squirrels eat the green fruit) and had good success. Next year I think we'll do it again.

We had a blight going on the year we planted the tomatoes which caused the plant to wither and eventually die and ours looked awful, kind of like what you are describing. Yellow and ugly but it still gave us tomatoes. Maybe it's a form of tomato blight? Or maybe because you've had so much rain. Do you bring them in when all it does is rain?

Ms. Moon said...

I am looking forward to the day when I am a container gardener. I think it's the way to go for just two people.
But I hope I will always grow some food. It just seems right.

ellen abbott said...

oh, job stress and you aren't even employed yet!

there is nothing better than a home grown vine ripened eaten immediately tomato. tomatoes taste best at room temperature. that goes for store bought ones too. it's natural for the bottom leaves to yellow. shouldn't affect the ripening of the tomatoes.

Linda Sue said...

Perhaps you could gather all of the teacherless classes in one room and just do the job yourself...A sort of one size fits all- Just reading your post gave me heebie jeebie nerves, that feeling is so deeply seated in the core- makes my stomach turn. Good luck with that- demanding and eeeek-some job,
BTW powdered peanut butter is pretty good- great to take on packing trips into the wild ( as if I will be doing that any time soon).
Your little baby tomatoes are such a beautiful colour- ours are little green golf balls, indicative of the sunshine that we have NOT had.

The Bug said...

We grew cherry tomatoes two years ago - we had one of those topsy turvy upside down planters. It worked GREAT & I loved having cherry tomatoes every day. I have no idea why we haven't done it again, but next year FOR SURE!

Good luck on the new job - I can totally understand the stress. But I'll bet you do just fine.

Gary said...

I love that you reference Green Acres! We have been watching it on DVD, a little every night (only 3 seasons are available on DVD). When I saw your tomatoes I actually thought of Oliver so it is funny you mention it.

Good luck on the new position. At least by the start of the school day your job is done.