A Bowl Full of Color

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ain't it amazing what three solid days of normal summertime heat can do to a backyard garden?

The heat that I have waited for to arrive all summer long finally showed up this past weekend in the form of bright sunshine -- highs in the mid 90's and some of the warmest nights we've seen this year. It's not quite warm enough for the wife that is Venus to take off her sweater (the wife prefers "Fresno Warm") -- but I'm not complaining.

Lord knows -- I've done enough already.

The heat was just enough to kick some loaded cherry plants into production. Although the heat isn't expected to last -- it was apparently enough to give us this bowl full of color tonight. And I'm hopeful these harvests will not only continue -- but gain in intensity as the summer marches on.

Bill Bird is never quite satsified. I guess that's what keeps me going.

I'll be honest. We went a *tad* overboard with our cherry tomato plantings this year. I never intended to set aside room in our limited raised bed space to three different cherry tomato varieties (the wife that is Venus had other plans) and I also wasn't counting on the INFINITE number of volunteers that would suddenly spring up in spaces so arid it could be mistaken for a moonscape.

How Black Cherry tomatoes can grow without any source of water continues to amaze me. But grow they do -- and do quite well.

The Bowl Full of Color represents many different varieties -- both intended and unintended plantings. That list includes Black Cherry (volunteers everywhere plus one is planted in a raised bed, a Large Orange Cherry volunteer, Pink Ping Pong, Lemon Drop, Jelly Bean and Santa Hybrid.

Heirloom Tomatoes from the Bird Backyard
I'm not exactly sure where the Large Orange Cherry comes from. It showed up last year outside of a raised bed that contained a smaller orange cherry variety called SunGold the previous year. That bed also held a number of beefsteak tomatoes -- including Mortgage Lifter and Pineapple. Could these be a cross of two plants? I suppose it's entirely possible -- but I'll never know.

For now? It's called Large Orange Cherry. I'll seed this particular variety (it is quite good) in hopes of producing a genetic duplicate next season -- but one never knows with volunteer plants. I suppose that's half the fun of planting a tomato garden.

Cherry tomatoes are just the start though. The main part of the tomato garden is -- at long last -- finally coming into production. I'm not seeing the numbers that I saw last year -- and I highly doubt that I'll encounter those massive harvests -- but it looks like Venus and I will be busy with some home canning projects later this August.

Bush Beans N' Basil Anyone?
Since the 49ers are once again going with Alex Smith at quarterback and the Raiders are -- well -- the Raiders -- I'll be able to dedicate some NFL Sundays to home canning efforts without missing much in the way of quality football.

I said quality football people. Q-U-A-L-I-T-Y. If you're not a fan -- let's just say it's been missing around these parts for -- oh -- the past decade. I either can summer produce or hook up an IV to the Kegerator outside. I'll choose summertime produce -- thank you.


Greg Damitz said...

Awesome. I'm still only getting the same 3 varieties ( 4th of July, Sun Gold, and Early Girl). I have tons of green heirlooms just nothing changing color yet. Next year the Sun Gold will be planted alone and not within 15 feet of another tomatoe plant as it grows so quickly it buries everything around it.


Now come on. Your Raider Nation is currently on a winning streak. Okay. So it's only one game. For the Raiders, that's a streak of some kind.

Jenn's Cooking Garden! said...

Great Harvest Bill! Currently we are getting alot of cherry tomatos too. Getting a few Mr.Stripeys and bLAck Krims. Lots of green on my plants too. Whats with this weather! I am looking forward to football, But I am a Cowboys fan!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one still disappointed in the garden this year. I kept thinking it was me in a sophomore slump. Today, I also was able finally to bring in a decent haul of tomatoes. Like Greg, all I have so far are 4th of July (more like 4th of August!), Sun Gold and Early Girl, with lots and lots of green tomatoes out there.

I'm finally starting to get some eggplants, but I'm still waiting for peppers to turn orange and red, and for tomatillos to ripen. Cucumbers and summer squash have been super productive, but I'm ready to rip out the zukes and yellows to put in some fall crops.

Indoor Fountains said...

If the Raiders gets some consistency from their passing game, they could be alright. The defense should be nasty.