Saturday, June 5, 2010

you say tomato, i say tornado

there are three tomato plants i’ve been watching impatiently all week, thinking they’re just about to bloom, then today a white currant comes out of nowhere and shows me the first flower. it was such a surprise. i hope it stays warm and dry enough for them to set fruit.

i made an upside-down tomato planter out of an empty vodka bottle. it’s probably too small, but i saw this technique on some other blog (they used a two-liter soda bottle, just slightly larger), and i wanted to at least give it a try.

the chocolate cherry tomato hanging from the topsy-turvy has already righted itself. poor thing, it looks uncomfortable.

with a few more container additions the tomato count is now up to 24.

my first round of radishes went awful awry. lots of greens, small roots and hot enough to set my mouth on fire. i’ve heard that happens if they don’t get enough water, though i thought i kept them pretty wet. after that failure i tried a different variety, they matured much faster (i planted the seeds may 2), i think they’re prettier than the solid red ones, and they aren’t too hot at all.

i unearthed the first two today, and a dozen more are nearly ready.

yesterday the raised bed spinach looked like it was thinking about bolting so i basically decimated it for a big salad. i need to try a different variety of spinach, too...this is the third year i’ve used the same seeds and the results are always crappy.

i also picked the first couple snow peas yesterday. very yummy. i had to extend their string supports today because they’ve outgrown the old ones.

i’m constantly blown away by the beauty of pea plants. i love, love, love spirals.

these flowers are driving me crazy too. they look like the colorful sea anemones i saw in belize last summer.

the big news today, aside from the first tomato blossom of course, was the weather. funnel clouds!!! it was warm, humid and nice out until 3pm when a storm hit...hard. one second it was sunny and calm, the next a fucking tempest. tons of damage to property, especially in the west end i think (i’m in southeast), and funnel clouds were spotted all over the valley, but none of them touched down. we don’t get tornadoes here. i mean it’s probably happened before, but in the two decades i’ve lived here i can only remember seeing funnel clouds one other time. scary! all i got today was severe wind and rain, no damage to structures or even plants, and it blew through in just five minutes.

i had an interview tonight with two brilliant artists. they’ve both been involved in the boise art scene since the 70s, both incredibly wise and articulate and oozing with genuine, non-pretentious artsyness. we met up at the home and studio of s...i don’t know how to convey how amazing the setting was. fabulous paintings on all the walls, handmade furniture, rolled canvases and piles of art supplies, sculptures and trinkets and found art pieces all over the place...even quiet classical piano music tinkling away in the background. it was all too much, i deteriorated into a goosebumpy state of over-stimulation and awe. she actually designed the house herself, so even the structure was artistic. i still can’t get over that place. i need to get in there with my camera.


JJ Beazley said...

My tomato plants are hardly growing at all, despite that fact that we're having a warm June so far. The smallest is still only about a foot tall, and yet it's got its first flower. And I'm finding that the radishes vary enormously depending on which bit of the greenhouse soil they're in.

Emily said...

hmmm, yeah it could be the soil in my case too.

i bet your tomato plants will take off and grow like crazy pretty soon. what varieties are you growing?

JJ Beazley said...

Haven't a clue. I leave that sort of thing to you epicurian experts. The tiny tomato plant now has three flowers. I'm wondering whether it's a dwarf variety and nobody told me.

Emily said...

maybe--some determinate varieties are specially bred to grow in small containers and hanging baskets, and reach maturity at about a foot tall, like the "tiny tim" tomato i want to try next year.

but maybe your plant is just being stubborn, waiting for just the right conditions to have a growth spurt. most of mine stayed the same size for the first week or two after i put them in the ground, then shot up.

and i would definitely contest the "epicurian expert" title. i haven't even tasted more than four or five tomato varieties since i started liking them. no expertise here whatsoever.

JJ Beazley said...

Well, you're a lot closer to being an expert than I am. And my 'stubborn' plant has been in the ground for a lot longer than a week or two. But I have got apples unexpectdedly on the young apple tree this year.