Sunday, May 15, 2011

It's a rainy, lazy, fantastic Sunday...

Oxheart Tomato
 It's a Sunday evening, the day after the day-long party we held yesterday to mark Rich's birthday. As is fast becoming tradition for a Hutton Boys' party, the weather was inclement. After a week of sunny, dry, hot and humid weather, Friday night brought thunderstorms and Saturday dawned with rain. It has been raining on and off, mostly on, since then. At times, the rain fell quite hard, but we didn't let that deter us from a day of outside games and even a bonfire. After all, Rich & I had cleaned out the barn to create a new entertaining area in the center room of the barn. Rich lined it with lights, and we were determined to use it. Our friend, Alyssa, brought Rich a set of bags (I believe the game is also called corn-hole) and our friend, Sam, brought hers, so we were able to have two games going on at once. It was too wet for croquet, but still... fun. We are really lucky we have found such a great community of friends here in Charleston. Not only was yesterday Rich's birthday, but it was the one-year anniversary of the date we first saw and fell in love with this house. It was only a year ago that we drove out to Charleston to find a place to live, and it is surprising to us at how much our lives have changed in that year, and how really lovely it is.

In the rain yesterday, I was able to give a farm tour to some of my non-mud-averse friends. The garden now contains twenty garden plots. Some of the original plots are in desperate need of weeding, but I must say it heartened me to see other people getting excited about the garden, and being able to answer their questions, and even to notice that even more cucumbers, beans, zucchini, and more had sprouted! It's looking more and more like a proper garden every day. Of course, more than half of the garden is dense and green with weeds that I will soon be battling to plant even more.

The other tomatoes.
Thursday morning, two of my neighbors came over bearing tomatoes. Plants, that is. Six oxheart tomatoes. The plants came from seeds they've been saving for four generations, and I accepted the plants with the promise to save the seeds from them. Absolutely. The oxheart is a big, meaty slicing tomato. Dick said that once I eat these, I won't want to grow any other tomato. I don't know if that'll happen. I love too many kinds of tomatoes not to let just one satisfy me! I've never grown this kind of tomato: the oxheart is an indeterminate type, which means it will keep on growing and producing all season. It will need considerable staking, and pinching to keep it's growth in check. I'm excited to try it. I planted the tomatoes in soil mixed with composted manure and mulched them with Saturday's morning newspaper. I planted a row of Genovese Basil and a row of marigold seeds with them. Fingers crossed, it's going to be a delicious plot of the garden!

It's just over two weeks until the farmers' market. I still can't believe it, and know I have an awful lot to do to prepare for it, but I must say I'm beginning to believe that I will have things to sell that first week... The radishes, arugula and lettuces are really coming along. After two days of rain, we're due for a cool and pleasant week, so I imagine the peas and most everything else that's up will really grow quickly. If you need me this week, I'll be out in the garden, weeding.

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