Isn't she beautiful?
With all apologies to the great Stevie Wonder -- I must say -- I've never seen a more gorgeous sight in all of my life.
This is truly a one of a kind -- work of art.
While I could be talking about my wife (who is pictured to the right) or her new "doo," that she came home with last night -- I'm not.
Nope -- it's that thing of beauty she's showing off -- the most gorgeous heirloom tomato plant that I've seen in my life.
I'd like to take credit for growing this plant. I really would. I'd LOVE to tell you that my thumb is THAT green -- and that I can grow picture-perfect heirloom tomato starter plants -- but that would be a tiny fib.
Or a gigantic lie.
Who is responsible then? It must be Farmer Fred Hoffman! He of tomato fame and the Puff the Magic Dragon Greenhouse?
Don't get me wrong here. I'm not knocking Fred's ginormous heirloom tomato starter plants in the LEAST. He knows how to turn out a good product and has been doing so for year after year after year.
But this didn't come from Fred's garden. It didn't come from my pathetic seed starting efforts either. This little beauty came as a complete shock and surprise. It's one of those "left field" kind of entries that I was not expecting to receive.
But I'll gladly take it -- Thank You Very Much!
This is truly the finest heirloom tomato starter plant that I've ever had the pleasure to run across. It is a "Dr. Wyche's Yellow," named after a Dr. Wyche who supposedly lived in the mountains and fertilized his garden with manure from a nearby zoo. Or -- at least that's the way the legend goes.
It is the most perfect heirloom tomato plant I have ever received or seen. It is a bright green -- thick stemmed monster of a starter plant that offers the most perfect leaf formation I've seen from any heirloom or even hybrid tomato starter plant.
I know what you're thinking: "Bill -- what nursery churned this out?"
The answer? The Nursery of Angela.
Now -- before you rush to open your phone books (or if you're under 40 -- Google "Nursery of Angela") -- understand that the "Nursery of Angela" does not technically exist. It is where Bill Bird received it -- but it's not a business that just anyone can shop at.
The "Nursery of Angela" is actually the fine work of Sacramento grow-at-home heirloom afficianado Angela Lyons -- who I had the opportunity to meet last year when she picked up some starter plants that Fred Hoffman had grown and delivered to my back porch.
I didn't know it then -- but needless to say -- Angela was impressed.
So -- she set about to duplicate that feat this year and present Bill and Venus Bird with the finished product. And boy-oh-boy -- what a finished product this Dr. Wyche's Yellow is. She didn't "duplicate" anything. This is a Grand Slam with two outs in the bottom of the 9th in Game 7 of the World Series kind of entry.
How did she do it? With a greenhouse? NOPE!
Angela -- it appears -- has hit upon some sort of magical solution (which involves some sort of magic waterbed) where she can produce the most picture-perfect starter plants that anyone has ever seen.
This isn't "nursery quality" stuff. This is a step above. This is "Angela Quality."
Good job Angie Lyons. Bill & Venus Bird salute you!