Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tomato Bounty, a little garden work and a visitor. Eeeeeeeeeek!

Late this morning, I decided to spend a little time attending the bounty of ripe tomatoes, and the herbs in our backyard. I have to give my husband a lot of kudos, because he is the one with the green thumb who planted all of this in spring. He's the one who tended to the tomatoes by feeding them, and managing the tomato cages-- and pinching the suckers off. Thanks, Sweetie!

Here are the tomato plants in late March...

Here they are in late summer!

Craig and I mutually agree that we need to stick to container gardening. We have too many ground squirrels and gophers, who (the first year we lived here) massacred the garden Craig created on top of our hill-- including a drip irrigation system.

The earth is too clay-ish and would take a lot of work and money to try growing vegetables on top of the hill again. At one time, Craig managed to have 200 heirloom tomatoes, that were growing beautifully. Those darn rodents chewed up and destroyed most of our tomato crop. We were so frustrated, and we tried everything we could think of-- to no avail.

These two little scaredy cats (littermates Camo and Tiger Lilly) are in their prime years (12 years old) and have quit being useful hunters of rodents. They just watch me from the safety of the back door, and are pampered and spoiled rotten by us.

I picked a lot of tomatoes, and I made something that I'll blog about later in the week.

Craig has lovingly fed and nurtured our two container lemon trees-- one is a Eureka and the other is a Meyer Lemon Tree. That !#$#$ Meyer lemon tree has not coughed up one ripe lemon in three years!

Ha! there are a LOT of blossoms and small green Meyer lemons. Could this be the year of bounty? Please? I love Meyer lemons!

It won't be long until these orange bell peppers are ready for something tasty!

Do you see my lovely chives? These have done so well for me this year (and I take credit for watering these, faithfully). I had to pull out a lot of dried chives I fell behind in trimming. I use chives in so many recipes...

I love baked potatoes with butter, sour cream (in moderation, of course) and fresh chives. Yummy!

See my garden cart (actually this used to be my horse's manure cart when my horse lived nearby and I had stall cleaning duty) full of dried curly parsley, dead cilantro and old chives? It kind of felt like giving the chive plants a haircut-- and it does look a whole lot better!

Well, folks... later this afternoon, my husband grabbed my camera and I saw him photographing the garden cart full of what I had trimmed away.

I just uploaded my photos to edit and look what he photographed!

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! A black widow spider!

There's that unmistakable hour glass. While deaths from black widows are very rare, I hear they can cause a very nasty bite. Either way, I don't want to test either theory!

Look again, at the photo I took of my garden cart! See it in the left corner? How did I miss that?!

I'm not afraid of mice and most spiders. But I would have definitely squealed in fear and run away fast!

I think I feel safer with a chef's knife and a hot stove than I do digging around where these critters dwell.

My husband-- my hero.

It's back to work tomorrow, so I'll blog when I can. I didn't bake this weekend. Let's just say that my tomato project turned out to be a lot more labor intensive than I banked on.

Wishing all of you a great week,

Little Miss Muffet, who is not sitting on her tuffet

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Kim said...

Yikes on the spider!! It's that time of year for all bugs everywhere to unite and come out to scare us all. I hope you get some meyer lemons this season. Sounds like you have a lot of goodies to harvest! My mom is growing bell peppers and a recent storm blew them right onto the ground. They were like little baby bell peppers and we made teeny tiny little stuffed bell peppers. They were so cute! Gardening is so rewarding.

Monica H said...

Your tomatoes are beautiful and plentiful. Eeek on the spider! I didn't even see it on the cart. They're smaller than I thought- I don't think I've seen one IRL.

I'm crossing my fingers for your Meyer lemons.

Donna-FFW said...

SO envious of all your garden goodies.. I cant wait till next year to start a new one here (too late when we moved to start one this year)

Dont think Ive ever seen a live black widow spider.. and dont think I ever want to. Yikes. :)

Stacey Snacks said...

now who's the fraidy cat?

Love the tomatoes and especially the kitties. Reminds me of my Shasta.

Marguerite said...

Your garden is beautiful, especially the tomatoes. I didn't have a vegetable garden this year and I really missed it. Eeek is right on that spider. Great photo, though. Thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comment.

Cheryl said...

I love the tomatoes, I skipped planting anything this year, hopefully next year I will be back to normal. I am deathly afraid of spiders, I am so glad that one did not jump you!

Frieda said...

Love your container garden...we have severe arachnophobia around here...

Kate said...

We can't have anything but containers, either. The critters destroy everything! We have quite a few of the visitors, also. They give me the creeps....almost as bad as snakes!

You have an abundance of tomatoes! Enjoy.

Danielle said...

I envy you your garden. I wish I could've planted one this year. Hopefully next year.
I do have more than my fair share of black widow spiders though. Sometimes I go out at night with a flash light and spray adhesive and glue them to their webs. no fumes, no chasing after worries LOL

Natashya said...

Eek is right! I would never go outside again!
Lovely tomatoes, I agree - container gardening is the way to go.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

That spider is scary!

I envy your beautiful garden. I grow herbs on my balcony, and this year, I obtained tomato plants. After months of waiting, I was rewarded with three little tomatoes. Two have been harvested and eaten. the other is still ripening. Once I eat it, I'm afraid that's the end.

Good luck with the lemons.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

My husband just tried to photograph a spider in our garden but the picture didn't come out nearly as well as yours. Men and spiders. I would love to have a Meyer lemon but I would have to bring it inside and baby it in the winter, so that's out for me. We are growing tomatoes in our herb garden. Can't get enough tomatoes.

Phoo-D said...

Oh dear. I would have jumped out of my skin and run screaming into the house. I don't do well with spiders =). The tomatoes are beautiful! Mine are just now starting to turn ripe after what seems like forever. Can't wait to see what you made with them!

Bella said...

Gorgeous, colorful photos. I can't get over the color of the sky! The spiders give me the heeby-geebies no matter where they are....what a close up! Those tomatoes look good even in August! ~ roz

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Wow - never seen a photo like that before! Your tomatoes look fantastic - can't wait to see what you've made!

Penny said...

Just found your blog and I see many friends among the commentors. Your containers look prolific! Bugs even. By the way, you are right about the Julie blog. I think that is one of the reasons that Julia was not interested in meeting or endorsing her.

♥Mimi♥ said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mimi said...

I think your kitties are waiting at the back door for a little piece of ham!

Jean said...

I live part time in the desert where, I discovered to my dismay, there are a lot of black widows. I keep my organic bug spray close at hand. I learned that most spiders, if they walk across something that's been sprayed with something bad for them, they later lick it off their feet when they are cleaning themselves, and they die that way. BUT, and a big but - black widows are dirty and don't clean themselves, so you have to spray directly on them.
I've learned much more about spiders than I ever cared to know.
Meyer lemons - yum. They are my favorites. When I used to live in snow country I grew them in my greenhouse so I could have some all year round. Tomatoes too. My two favorites.