Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Afternoon Snack

Well, I finally have some results from my Earth Box garden kit. As I mentioned here, I grew strawberries and tomatoes, without much hope of success due to my black thumb. Although the produce is small and a bit funny looking, I think I did pretty well. At least I have an afternoon snack that I grew myself and am pretty sure won't give me salmonella (even if it is a bit unattractive). Maybe if the outbreak gets worse, I could sell my fresh tomatoes on ebay to the highest bidder. I don't think the tiny strawberry will make the cut on the open market but it is really cute--don't you think?



Blogger Peregrine John said...

Hey, congrats! Pretty much guaranteed, your funny-looking tomatoes will taste better than the finest-looking store-bought one you ever got.

The strawberry reminds me of the wild ones I used to pick when I was little. Mmm.

1:58 PM, June 18, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...

Peregrine John,

Thanks, I bet the tomatoes will taste great, especially the riper looking one. I am going to eat it in a few hours with some cottage cheese and see how it tastes.

2:10 PM, June 18, 2008  
Blogger Serket said...

One of the tomatoes and the small strawberry looks good!

2:18 PM, June 18, 2008  
Blogger HMT said...

If you're used to grocery store produce then garden produce takes some getting used to. "Real" grown stuff takes on odd shapes and colors. It can get even weirder if you choose to grow "heirloom" varieties. I planted late this year so we're just now getting tomatoes (NC). Hot peppers aren't far behind. Salsa gardens are fun, if you love salsa that is. Basil is a great partner to grow with your tomatoes. Make some homemade mozzarella and impress your friends with a tomato, basil and mozzarella salad :)

Here's hoping you get a big bounty this summer!

2:47 PM, June 18, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're not the black thumb you thought you were as harvesting tomatoes before July 4th is considered by most serious gardeners to be an accomplishment. Good job.

3:30 PM, June 18, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

They look fine to me, I'd eat them.

4:27 PM, June 18, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

Yum. Nothing better than a fresh tomato off the vine.

I too have fond memories of picking wild strawberries. Then I moved to California where they are all huge and pretty but mostly tasteless.

Now that you've had your first success, do you have bigger plans for next year? How about basil to add to your snack?

4:33 PM, June 18, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...

To all,

I ate the ripe tomato and it was amazing.


I would like to grow herbs --basil would be great.

6:25 PM, June 18, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

I am sure it was amazing. I am convinced that you cannot buy a tomato. You can grow one, and someone can give you one they grew, but you cannot purchase them.

Oh, you can buy faux tomatos at the store, but the taste of the tomato actual and tomato faux are worlds apart.


6:48 PM, June 18, 2008  
Blogger Sissy Willis said...

You forgot to mention the intoxicating fragrance of homegrowns. A question: Do you shake your tomato plants?

7:06 PM, June 18, 2008  
Blogger Anne said...

It doesn't matter how ugly they are (and yours aren't ugly -- they're just not manufactured) -- if they have a little bit of color and are grown in a real garden, they taste sublime.

Even if they get big rotten spots and sunburn, just cut that part out and eat them anyway. (You could let the greener looking one get a little riper.)

Congrats! I have used an earthbox before and it worked great. It's sitting out there but I'm behind this year.

I've got tomato envy now!

9:29 PM, June 18, 2008  
Blogger Peter Blogdanovich said...

Two things money can't buy...happiness and home grown tomatoes. If you wrap the green ones in newspaper in August, they will ripen slowly and you can eat them through October.

9:33 PM, June 18, 2008  
Blogger Sydney said...

The strawberries will be puny and sparse the first year. That's their nature. But if you can keep them going over the winter in your earthbox, they should be more productive next year.

9:50 PM, June 18, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ya done pretty darn good for a first timer. Ripe tomato on June 18th though? Heck, we don't even plant them until shortly before Memorial Day in Jersey.

Between the early tomatoes and all the cute chick photos that Glenn has been posting, I'm just about ready to uproot and move on down!

9:55 PM, June 18, 2008  
Blogger phytorx said...

The strawberry shows telltale the symptom of poor pollination, e.g. no bees. Rub your finger around an open flower to achieve the same effect. Making a buzzing sound is optional. The resultant berries will be about 4 times the size. From a plant pathologist that has been seeing this for about 25 years,

Cheers, Pete

10:30 PM, June 18, 2008  
Blogger Tiny Bunch said...

Guy Clark has a great song called "Home Grown Tomatoes".

Home grown tomatoes,
Home grown tomatoes,
What would life be without
Home grown tomatoes?
Only two things that money can't buy
And that's true love and
Home grown tomatoes.

It was the first Guy Clark song I ever heard and I was instantly a fan. Here's a man who understands.

10:35 PM, June 18, 2008  
Blogger Chip Ahoy said...


*does the Tomato Dance*

Way to go. WOOT!

11:10 PM, June 18, 2008  
Blogger Caleb said...

No store bought strawberry will compare to the ugliest home/wild grown variety. Nothing is better.

12:19 AM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger daddyquatro said...

Yeah, I had to go to a road side fruit stand to buy my tomatoes last week.
The proprietor felt obliged to tell me, "They're home grown, that's why they look funny."
To which I answered, "That's why I'm here!"
Poster beat me to the punchline, though he/she spelled it wrong.
"There's only two things that money caint by[sic] and that's true love and home grown tomaters."

12:22 AM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger pockosmum said...

Good job! Aren't they great? I haven't grown tomatoes in years but still remember how good they taste right off the vine, a little bit of salt, or not.

2:04 AM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger Lori Thornton said...

Small strawberries almost always taste better than those big ones you find in most stores nowadays!

8:02 AM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger jrh1230 said...

Cottage Cheese? Slice that tomato for a sandwich with your favorite bread and some DUKE'S mayonnaise. Your Southern Delicacy will be complete!! ;-)

8:45 AM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

I do believe we have a topic that our fractious and opinionated group can agree on! :^D

marbel, there's got to be a way for us Californians to get ahold of some of those flavor-rich wild strawberries! I'll have to check the seed/plant catalogs.

phytorx, thanks for the tip! Though my yard is very popular with bees, knowing that should help me guarantee healthy crops.

Helen, if you're wintering your strawberries, you may want to consider wintering your tomatoes as well. They die very quickly from a frost, but I've had some live for 2-3 years, well protected (and on the edge of a desert, admittedly). 'Course, they also grow from seed easily enough to not bother, but heirlooms might be worth the trouble.

hmt: Homemade mozzarella?! Seriously? Ok, that's 2 things I need to go research...

10:28 AM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger Danny said...

Helen- if you are going to plant herbs, dont restrict yourself to basil only. Check out the Indian variety of basil too- they have a much more intense flavor. ( ask any Indian Hindu folks- they will usually have plants at home, cuz, it is considered a Holy plant).
Also plant some oregano, rosemary, thyme, mint, cilantro. I have al lof these in planters on our back deck,and it has made my Indian dishes really flavorful- these home grown herbs taste a lot better than the fresh or the dried herb you can find in the grocery store. Oh, I also have a bunch of hot serranos and other hot chilis growing in 2 planters. Boy, do I love those hot chillies when they are green!!! :):)

10:47 AM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

Ah, Peregrine John, I abandoned CA years ago for beautiful Oregon, where the Hood strawberries are incredible. Now in Pennsylvania, and haven't seen local berries yet - stores are full of the overblown CA variety (and boy are they expensive and ugly after being shipped so far!). I do need to grow my own.

4:13 PM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

Ah, Oregon! A block from where I lived (on the East side of Portland, North of Beaverton) there was a gigantic patch of blackberries, and when they came ripe I did my best to overdose on them. Fresh, in cobbler, as pancake syrup... Odd that I never grew strawberries there! Alas.

5:05 PM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

Peregrine John, now you are making me homesick. We lived outside Beaverton (Cooper Mountain) and had wild blackberries all over the place. Oh how I miss them. When we moved to PA last year we went to a snooty organic farm and paid $4 a pound for sub-optimal berries. Hard times after 9 years of getting many pounds every year, just for the price of scratched-up arms and legs!

5:15 PM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

I have harvested a bunch of wild strawberries growing out the crack in my concrete alley next to where the rat lives. They're reasonably tasty and sweet. The rat won't eat them though.

7:06 PM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger boxingalcibiades said...

Contrary to the Texan reviewer, the box I'm using doesn't seem to be resulting in scorched veggies... but I AM getting a lower yield than I'd normally get simply using a basic lasagna garden. I'm suspecting that the Earthbox's results, down here, could be replicated simply by using a pot combined with a conical tomato cage. Next season, I'll do a head-to-head comparison.

1:46 PM, June 20, 2008  
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