Monday, July 29, 2013
"Fort Tomato" Nearly Complete, and Just in Time!
That means I need a lot of tomatoes. Some years, when the garden is lean or the weather poor, I hit the farmer's markets near closing time; last year I got a twenty-five-pound box of "crooks" for $10. These are the mishappen tomatoes from the bottom of the vine. My dad was a produce wholesaler who taught me to savor these oddballs from the tomato patch. Their flavor is exqusite.
This year, we have no shortage of plants or produce, but I'm watchful after two "corn raids" by racoons and earlier incursions by groundhogs. If they finish with the corn, the tomatoes may be next. And that means all-out war.
Firearms aside, the groundhogs cannot penetrate our new fence, over or under, but raccoons have a little advantage: thumbs. I've trapped and shot one already, since it's illegal to relocate animals in Virginia. As I write this, I've two traps outside ready for the bandit who gobbled down half our corn last night. I picked the rest, as I wait for the next rows to come in.
Tomorrow "Fort Tomato" will have a finished garden gate. Next year, it will have electric and some dogs to run around 3/4 of it, after I do an outer fence that includes our little apple orchard.
More money, but worth every penny to grow one's own food. Even if the critters get some of it!