Taunting the Tomatoes

Today’s post comes from Dr. Larry Kyle, the founder and produce manager at Genway, a supermarket that creates and sells nothing but genetically modified foods.

I was surprised to discover how casually people will pile on the scorn when it comes to disrespecting grocery store tomatoes.

They don’t have any flavor!
They have thick skins!
They’re only made to look good and taste be damned!

Please! These are delicate fruits.
Can’t you just be nice?

There was a time when tomatoes were thrown by the general public to insult performers who did not entertain. Now entertainers are throwing insults at tomatoes as some kind of performance for the general public. I’m discouraged by this strange turnaround.

This latest attack comes from Science Magazine and the New York Times, who blindly publish so-called research that begins with a questionable assumption – that grocery store tomatoes are a disappointment.

The argument is that we’ve fed ourselves fruits that were developed to serve large corporate interests by being easy to pick, ship and display. Critics say Americans are so dumb, we’d rather buy something that looks good rather than eat tasty foods.

I say – “So?”

Anyone who has spent five minutes trying to market anything at all understands the irresistible power of a Pretty Thing. That’s why we developed this summer’s produce special at Genway – The Lightning Bug Tomato!

By combining last year’s shockingly red Bloodbath Tomato with DNA taken from the ordinary firefly, we’ve created a piece of produce that has a pulsing, crimson glow. How successful is it? People line up and pay a fee to come into our store after closing when the lights have been turned out, just to stand by the tomato bin and bathe in the random flickering of piles and piles of ruby red orbs. It’s a splendid cross between languishing in an erotically charged boudoir, and hanging out at a crime scene.

We sell these Lighting Bug Tomatoes by the cart load, and so far no one has complained about the taste. It may be that no one has ever eaten one! I know quite a few will be launched from homemade catapults this Fourth of July. But I’m a businessman. As long as people pay on the way out, I don’t care what they do with the fruit once they get it home.

Maybe someday someone will find a way to market a tomato based on flavor alone. Good luck with that. In the meantime, don’t be cruel, be cool! And keep an eye on the sky. There’s something up there that’s very bright and very red. It glows like a tiny, throbbing sun, and it’s headed directly at you!

Dr. Larry Kyle
Produce Manager and Founder
Genway

What’s in your garden this summer?

121 thoughts on “Taunting the Tomatoes”

  1. Amazingly enough Genway is behind the times. Glowing tomatoes are so yesterday. The Koreans have already cloned a cat that glows red; there is a transgenic monkey that is bright green,; and even Dr Larry Kyle would be impressed with the pig with the glowing snout and hooves. Skeptical baboons and Genway shoppers can see for them selves at this link http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/05/photogalleries/glowing-animal-pictures/#/glowing-algae-petri-dish-animals_11834_600x450.jpg

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    1. Yes, Beth-Ann, Dr. Kyle is “behind” these scientists, but only in the sense that he doesn’t have any interest in creating products that fluoresce only under ultra-violet light. He wants them to light up the pantry! Still, you have to wonder if glowing animals will stop being special once everybody can do it!

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      1. kind of like dick tracy’s wrist radio. remember how unbelievable that concept was? now i’d like to shut off the damn smart phone. my sister has a group that gets together and puts all the cell phones in a pile in the middle of the table upon arrival. the first one to pick up the phoen for any reason other than leaving pays the bill. the phones stay shut off.

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  2. My “garden” contains weeds, volunteer trees and a few perennial flowers planted years ago by women I was dating. And if you use “garden” in a loose sense, mine is producing many little green Concord grapes.

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    1. Your grape harvest last year was great, Steve, and if your vines are anywhere near as productive this year as everything else seems to be, prepare yourself for a bumper crop.

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  3. The most prolific growth in my garden is still arugula. I have lots and lots of it. Fortunately, there are very few things that can’t be improved upon with a little arugula! Thyme is doing great as well. For some reason, basil isn’t flourishing the way I’d like it to, but the Egyptian wandering onions, chives, both regular and garlic, are doing well as are my garlic plants. My second, crop of rhubarb is ready to be harvested, and my tomato plants look strong although there are no tomatoes as yet; got a late start. Miscellaneous herbs, including rosemary, oregano, and marjoram are nicely established. My sage is holding its own against one of my big rose bushes, and the lovage I’ve had to cut back several times as it was getting out of hand. Everything is very lush at the moment, and the perennial beds are full of blossoms. Ah, summer!

    OT – Thought I was going to watch tennis from Wimbledon this weekend only to discover that apparently it’s only being broadcast on ESPN. Aaargh!

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      1. Egyptian wandering or walking onions are also know as top set onions. At this time of year onion sets develop at the top of the tallest leaves and then fall over and plant themselves. By falling over and making new plantings these onions can wander or walk around in your garden. They are perennials that also increase by forming a clump that gets bigger with time. They come up very early in the spring when you can pull them and eat them like green onions. In the fall they are larger and I understand that they can also be harvested then as very large green onions. I am only familiar with harvesting in the spring when they are one of the first crops that I harvest. The top sets can also be cooked, but they are usually very small and I haven’t tried them in cooking.

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        1. I will try to remember to bring some top sets of these onions to the next book club meeting that I can give to anyone who wants to try them.

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  4. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    I am writing this while waiting to go to a baby shower. I also have company. So I may hit “Post Comment” in the middle of the post and I’ll be outa here.

    The usual tomatoes, carrots, kohlrabi, basil, and what appears to be a bumper crop of peppers, many variaties. There are many flowers coming along, too. The weeds have vigor this year. My raspberries are coming on strong, but of the two varieties of raspberries I grow, one variety appears to be ill and dying. The weeds around the raspberries are lush and doing very well.

    Last year the Japanese beetles ate my mountain ash tree and a vine down to the wood. Neither of those plants are looking good this year. Hmph.

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    1. Forgot to say that I suspect Dr. Kyle did something to those raspberries to cause this problem. I saw some guy sneaking around back there last summer. It must have been him.

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  5. Good morning. Due to my interest in seed saving, part of my garden is devoted growing vegetable seed crops. I will pick some vegetables to eat from most of the seed crop plantings and then let the the plants go to seed.

    Also, this year I am getting my revenge on some of the pesty weeds in my garden by eating them. We’ve had several meals of cooked lambs quarter greens and have picked some bunches of purslane to take to a Mexican Restaurant that uses this plant in various dishes they prepare. The cook gave me a serving of a pork dish that included purslane which was very good. Also, the cook told me that in Mexico purslane is know as verdelagas. I found many recipes that use verdelagas on the internet and plan to make use of some of them. Yesterday I included some uncooked purslane in a salad.

    I highly recommend La Guadalupana Mexican restaurant in Albert Lea which is the place that uses purslane in some of their cooking. It is in the food court of the North Bridge shopping mall which is just South of the exit from I90 about a mile West of I35. The cook prepares a wide selection of Mexican dishes from fresh ingredients.

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    1. Some of the Hmong farmers at the market sell purslane. I love using weeds of various kinds in salads and stir fries. I also don’t waste the greens from beets, carrots and other roots. Carrot greens make a wonderful pesto like sauce with a little garlic, some pine nuts and a little EVO. Yumm!

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      1. Beet greens are one of my favorite foods. I didn’t know that a sauce could be made from carrot tops. I also try to make use of some weedy plants in my salads.

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      2. when i visited spain in the early 70s i was surprised to see so any people out picking raodside weeds to take home for dinner. a supermarket along the highway was a wonderful discovery. it had never occured to me before that

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    2. I save flower seeds for my own use. And through neglect, I have discovered that cilantro, dill, lettuce, squash and tomatoes self-seed rather well. I have only eaten small amounts of purslane. I will have to offer some to my Mexican neighbors; now that I have not been weeding regularly, I have a good sized crop.

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  6. Garden? I think there is one out there, but we’ve been working on the screen porch. Will get back to you.

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  7. Morning–
    I have rabbits, deer and raccoons my garden…
    They’ve eaten the tops off the peas and string beans. They’ll let me know when the sweet corn is ready.
    I am getting some radishes and hoping for kohlrabi… Too soon to say on cucumbers and pumpkins.

    Yesterday I was mowing a field that was full of thistles. The number of goldfinches on the thistles was amazing! I’d get to the end of the field and 50 or 60 gold finch would fly off into the trees. It was pretty neat… so I left a patch of thistles for them. I’ll come back in a week and mow the rest- Presuming they’ll have all the seed out of them by then.

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    1. I hope there is not a rule against posting poetry. Ben, your description sent me running to this poem by Mary Oliver. And, yes, thank you for saving a patch for the goldfinches!

      Goldfinches

      In the fields
      we let them have—
      in the fields
      we don’t want yet—

      where thistles rise
      out of the marshlands of spring, and spring open—
      each bud
      a settlement of riches—

      a coin of reddish fire—
      the finches
      wait for midsummer,
      for the long days,

      for the brass heat,
      for the seeds to begin to form in the hardening thistles,
      dazzling as the teeth of mice,
      but black,

      filling the face of every flower.
      Then they drop from the sky.
      A buttery gold,
      They swing on the thistles, they gather

      the silvery down, they carry it
      in their finchy beaks
      to the edges of the fields,
      to the trees,

      as though their minds were on fire
      with the flower of one perfect idea—
      and there they build their nests
      and lay their pale-blue eggs,

      every year,
      and every year
      the hatchlings wake in the swaying branches,
      in the silver baskets,

      and love the world.
      Is it necessary to say anymore?
      Have you heard them singing in the wind, above the final fields?
      Have you ever been so happy in your life?

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      1. nice nan. if there is a rule against poetry anywhere on the planet i think it is our job to blast it out of the water. what a nice gold finch poem. thanks

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      2. Nice Nan.
        And thanks for reassuring me it was the right thing to do. Leaving thistles?? I had a hard time driving away from there…

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        1. Ben, it’s one of those calculated risks. You know that by leaving the thistles you’ll help perpetuate them. From a farmers point of view, probably not a desirable thing to do. From the viewpoint of gold finches and other critters that depend on thistles for sustenance, they are essential for survival. Besides, they are beautiful. Thistles make for a beautiful and long-lasting cut flower.

          Once, when Capercaillie were performing at the Cedar, I had cut a couple of large thistles that happened to be growing in my back yard for an arrangement to adorn the stage. At the time, I wasn’t aware of the connection between Scotland and the thistle as a national symbol. I was much surprised when this serendipitous display elicited a rather emotional response from the band. They saw it as a tribute, one that I wasn’t aware of paying at the time. Of course, I didn’t tell them that.

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  8. My garden has flowers, herbs, and fruit.

    The flowers range from glorious to pathetic. Some of the lilies are glorious right now, as are a few other things, but many of the other flowers seem to be conspiring to make my yard look like it’s full of dying plants. Not quite the look I was going for.

    The herbs are doing okay. All of the basil (regular, lemon, cinnamon, lime, and thai) all seem to be a new variety: Pygmy. Very small. The other herbs all seem to be thriving, for the most part. The thyme (both lemon and regular) are doing well, as are all the sages, but the lemon balm surpasses all of the other herbs: it is everywhere!

    I have lots of raspberry bushes, two gooseberry bushes, rhubarb, one red currant bush, and one black currant bush. The raspberries are loaded with berries, most of them not ripe yet as the summer crop is just beginning. The rhubarb has provided me with plenty to use in Rødgrød med Fløde and other things. (Dr. Kyle, thanks for the reminder about the garden: I need to pull more rhubarb this weekend and freeze it.) The two gooseberry bushes have a pathetic crop of about 6 berries total. The red currant bush has a smallish crop, but the biggest disappointment is my black currant bush, which last year provided me with several baked goodies and sauces in the summer plus a gallon of berries to freeze. This year I have picked 90% of the berries and there was less than a cupful.  This is so sad: black currants are totally amazing and I was so looking forward to enjoying them again. If anyone knows of a local farmers market vendor who has black currants, let me know.

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    1. I admire the wide selection of things you are growing, Edith. When we move to the Twin Cities, I might show up at your place to beg for some starts of one or two of those herbs.

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      1. Don’t be too impressed, Jim. I forgot to mention my main and biggest crop: weeds! And I seem to be having varying success even with easy things like herbs (you notice I didn’t mention vegetables – I have a small city lot and am depending on the farmers market to supply my fresh veggies). But it would be fun to share some with you – if nothing else is thriving, you can always have all the Lemon Balm you want. And chives! I’m determined to learn a lot about cooking with fresh herbs in the next few years. I’m starting by growing some so I can get what I need in my yard.

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  9. I am just in from disrupting the weed growth in my front beds. Have replaced some of them with marigolds and alyssum bought cheap because most folks are done planting annuals. I had to whack back part of a pavement rose bush which is becoming The Thing That Ate Our Garden – may, you cannot kill it. You can lop a branch off, stick it in the ground somewhere else, and wind up with a bush there a couple years later (which is how we now have a rose bush across the driveway from the first one). Maybe Dr. Kyle would like a cutting of The Thing. It produces lovely smelling flowers and requires virtually no care beyond a good haircut a couple times a year.

    We are attempting carrots and pumpkins again this year, though they went in late, so who knows what we’ll get when. Daughter wanted to try watermelon, too – not sure on that either, but seeds are cheap, so why not.

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    1. My grandpa planted watermelons once. I seem to remember they were good… it was 30 years ago though so the memory may be tarnished. He also hauled sand up from the creek and planted peanuts. I remember digging them up and mom drying them in the oven. Again, they seemed good.
      He did popcorn and ground cherries, too. He wasn’t afraid to try anything.

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        1. Ground cherries are not the same as cherries from trees. They are related to tomatoes. Tomatillas are a kind of ground cherry that is used in Mexican cooking. I like to grow this one because it can be used to make very good green salsa.

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        2. thanks jim. i often wonder how much of my world is colored by my brain digesting my misread statements. i feel like rosanna rosanna danna. oh ground cherries…. never mind

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  10. Since we seem to be having a sleepy day, perhaps people won’t be offended if I veer Off Topic and report on a dream I had last weekend at the cabin. Barack Obama determined to “jump start” the national economy by having the federal government run a huge nationwide speed dating program to get people to meet, fall in love and start spending money. Being single, I joined the speed dating crowd. Early in the evening I met a spectacular woman and signaled my strong interest in her. She refused me frostily. Nothing came of the second half of the evening since I managed to sit in the African-American female section of the daters, and nobody talked to me. As I walked out of the building where this dating took place, Michelle Obama fell in with me and told me how disgusted Barack was with the evening he had planned. “Six toes,” said Michelle, “that’s all they talked about: six toes.” She explained that Barack was grieving because the national press had totally blown coverage of the event by writing only about one of the female daters who had six toes on one foot.

    When I woke up and remembered this dream, I thought it was more vivid and rational than most of my dreams are. Then I thought: 1) Barack Obama ran an economic program that didn’t work; 2) I made an overture to a really cool woman and she blew me off; 3) the press completely failed to cover a story by obsessing instead on some trivial detail. Hey, what about any of this makes me think it was a dream?

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    1. :)
      How come you can remember a many-sentence paragraph full of your dream, and I’m lucky if I can get one phrase out?

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        1. The rate of extra toes varies with ethnic group. They are most common among African Americans was the dater with polydactyly in your section?

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        2. Beth-Ann, is it a fact that extra toes (and fingers?) are more common among African-Americans? I met an Indian, from India, many years ago who had six fingers on each hand. Since they were all perfectly functional, his parents had opted to not have the extra fingers removed, which apparently is often done. As near as I could tell, finding gloves that fit was his only handicap.

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        3. clyde maybe you should document the novels. they may be ridiculous to you but something you could make something of if viewed like gifts instead of weird inserts.

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      1. Polydactyly (extra fingers and/or extra toes) is usually caused by a single dominant gene. People with it have a 50/50 chance of passing it on to their children. The gene is more prevalent in the African American population, but it is found in lots of other populations too. You are right that simple polydactyly rarely causes problems beyond shoe and glove wear. There is a challenge in counting on fingers and getting different answers than the majority.

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        1. Hadn’t thought of that last complication, but I can see how that could lead to some interesting answers.

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  11. It’s a strange year. Several of the irises have leaves but no blooms, and one peony bush didn’t flower. In the veggie garden that I watered with my sweat this morning as I weeded, the potatoes didn’t come up, and we’re on our fourth attempt with the green beans. (Granted, Husband used seed that was probably too old for the first planting.) Zukes, cukes, and tomatoes are on their way, but carrot rows and rutabagas look spotty. Anyone else having a strange outcome this season?

    On the other hand, we’re getting raspberries in droves. Hardly any apple blossoms, though, so it’s good that we still have some cider from last year in the freezer.

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    1. Yes, I’m having a strange gardening year, too (see earlier post: lots of raspberries on their way, zero currants and gooseberries, pygmy basil). I’m not glad you’re having so many problems, but I am glad to know I am not alone.

      Meanwhile, my sister who has a huge garden – I mean, HAD a huge garden – by the St. Louis River and was flooded in the Great Duluth Flood of 2012, reported to me that her clematis – which was loaded with blooms 2 days before the flood when I was there – was still blooming after the flood, despite being in standing water. And her potatoes were doing great! (And here your potatoes didn’t even come up!) Weird indeed.

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    2. If the potatoes were not planted too long ago, they might still make it. Dig into potato row and check to see what the seed is doing. You might find some with sprouts that are okay and will come up eventually. You might also find that the seed is rotten. If the seed is rotten it must have been weak and you should use a different source of seed next time.

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    3. Every year seems to be a strange year in my garden. I usually attribute it to high or low temperature, lack of or too much snow, too much or too little rain or any of the earlier reasons at the wrong time. This year half of my peonies did not bloom. Two peonies on the south side of my house are always the first to bloom. One was huge and bloomed beautifully, the other, no flowers and it is about half the size of the other, maybe time to divide it? Self-seeded cilantro is growing all over the garden but not one came up from the seeds I planted. Usually I can rely on zucchini to self seed but none this year.

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  12. The puzzle here is that the nanking cherries don’t seem to be producing any significant amount of fruit this year. They did bloom nicely in the spring, so there’s no logical explanation. Raspberries are producing a characteristically anemic summer crop, but they are everbearing, so they will come roaring back in the fall. Picked a little handful of gooseberries. If I had to rely on my own resources for food, I would likely starve.

    The old reliable daylilies are the stars of the garden right now.

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    1. Oh yeah, my daylilies are doing nicely right now, too – but some of them have foliage that looks like it’s dying. And my next door neighbor’s oak tree on the boulevard is dropping leaves like crazy on my boulevard garden, makes me think it might be dying. It’s been there for a couple decades.

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    2. I like your description of the raspberries “roaring” back in the fall. I love fall raspberries. I think it’s because they are so prolific and goes on so long. And tonight – as I was picking berries with sweat pouring down from the heat and no breeze – I realized another reason: it’s usually a lot cooler when I’m picking the fall raspberries.

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  13. I think gardening is always an experiment. Every year is different and you never know what will happen. Over the years, if you keep trying different things, you will probably find some that usually work good for you although even the most reliable might not always work well. I have always had good luck with a very hardy good producing tomato called Peron Sprayless. Last year it was late maturing and not very productive. This year I started my Peron Sprayless plants from seed that is older than the seed I used last year. I hope this will bring it back to it’s old performance standards.

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  14. More weirdness – the lupines were done weeks ago, and I have one straggler in bloom.

    We had some volunteers that don’t usually make it through a real winter – tons of dill… The “no snow cover” is priobably responsible for the loss of some perennials (a new delphineum for one), and maybe the asparagus?

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        1. Barbara, I know that you have a fence set up to keep the deer out. Maybe something is getting inside the fence and eating off the tops of the asparagus and possibly also the beans and maybe some other things. Keep an eye open for plants that have chew marks or parts that have been nipped off. If the fence isn’t working to keep out deer or other animals, spray some hot pepper spray or other animal repellant on the plants that are being damaged and see if that helps.

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        2. i have some hot sauce i have used this year ot keep the deer of the hostas that has worked well. just hot sauce watered down a bit and sprinled on with one of those water bottles that has the little thing on the top you pull up to drink and push down to close. like the old top on the coke bottle for ironing,
          my garden is mostly lillies and hostas and this year the puppies have decided the gardens are a great playground, a good place to laydown and rest and an interesting taste treat. they are pulling out hosta by the complete plant and leaving the roots with a leave or two on the yard for me to discover and weep over, thats the ones they haven’t turned into bedding material and smashed to the ground. nice dogs but im gonna kill em, im hoping next year when they have quadrupled in size they wont try to hide under the hostas for shade but it may be time to plan for fences or pepper spray by the truckload.
          i have a great crop on hummingbirds this year and the goldfinchs are doing well, small crop of woodpeckers and cardinals. they all taste like chicken though.
          off to watch the wife run in one of those mud obstetrical course things with barbed wire and electric shocks and then sending the kids off to lake of the woods with great friends to spend the 4th at a cabin in the minnesota glory.
          anybody keep their herb garden in a box for indoor growing during the winter. ive heard its possible.

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        3. I’d like to try growing more herbs indoors during the cold months, tim, I’ve potted up a few here and there to bring indoor use with varying success. I had a rosemary plant that did splendidly for a long time, in fact I had to leave it outdoors one winter because it had gotten so large I didn’t have a pot big enough for it. Inevitably, it died. So I’ve started over a couple times; last year the one I brought indoors died by spring, so I’m on a new one again. I’d like to have a variety of herbs indoors during the winter, but I don’t think they get enough light to stay healthy.

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        4. My experience has been the same as Edith’s, most herbs don’t get enough light to remain healthy throughout the winter unless you install a grow light.

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        5. Thanks, Jim. We have a 7-foot fence around the veggies, so it’s not the deer, but I suppose there may be a hole somewhere down at the bottom… will check. But there’s been no trace of a plant where we planted the beans.

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    1. This was going to be my 1st year to harvest asparagus. Last year many healthy spears. This year both stands had only stunted growth. They bushed out at about 15 inches. I don’t know what the problem is. None of the explanations I have read about seem to apply. I’ll give them one more year and then dig them up or just plant over them, I guess.

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    1. Oy – yes it does. We are in one of those stretches where I really wish we had a/c in more than just the bedrooms. Sigh. Wilt. Out to the backyard pool, I guess (it’s only 3 feet deep and 10 feet wide, but delicious on days like today).

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      1. there is an ac option available in china that is a unit that hangs a small fan on the inside of one room and puts a small ac unit outside. it is for cooling one 12×12 room where you can shut the doors and hang out in there. i saw a commercial for it here on tv the other day from one of the major ac companies here. the problem here is they charge 1600 for the unit. the cost of the unit from china is 350 dollars. i thought about and loked into bringing them in a few years ago and got sidetracked when i realized the lack of do it yourself interest these days adds to the finished cost when you add in the guy to run the wires. if you want to look at it i will be happy to look at it with you. i would guess it could be done for 400 bucks in a best case scenario. the panasonic in room ac at costco or sams for 350-400 is a real easy alternative. torso sized unit on wheels that sits in the corner humming like a fan.

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        1. We have talked about getting one of those portable units like you mention for use in the living room and dining room – just hasn’t made it into the family budget yet. We looked into an option that Minnegasco (CenterPoint?) was selling a few years back that put a unit in your wall – one unit downstairs, one unit up – that was supposed to cool the whole house. Only with our house it would have required extra work (and an extra compressor) b/c of the upstairs set up…which got expensive fast. Ah well. We won’t melt. I hope.

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        2. Anna, when I looked into adding air conditioning to my home, I thought those outside units would be the trick. But they were expensive. Then when an installer heard that I had an attic, he told me it would be relatively cheap to set up a central system for my home that had vents in the ceiling. It was by far the best answer for me, but I have a home that exists on one level.

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  15. i tried that a couple years ago and discovered i do not have 1 flat spot in my yard that doesnt tip off to one side or the other. i could fill it about a foot and a half before it overflowed to the left or the right. but yes it felt glorious. enjoy the cool pool in the heat of the moment. a book an umbrella and a cup of ice tea make for a perfect day.

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    1. I convinced Daughter that it was fun to drag me around the pool in circles while I floated on a couple of pool noodes yesterday – very relaxing, at least for me. :)

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  16. Rabbits were the first ones to eat from my garden this year. They munched off the tops of the peppers, peas, beans. I hope they enjoyed some lettuce but I had sooo much volunteer lettuce that I couldn’t notice if any was missing.

    A bumper crop of strawberries are gone. Now I’m eating rhubarb, peas, lettuces, radishes, broccoli, a few leaves of kale and black and red raspberries. And Egyptian onions.

    First planting of string beans are flowering. Looks like another good year for cukes. Also growing 1 cabbage, collard greens, zucchini, acorn squash, beets, chard, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, thyme, mint, oregano, and a bunch of different kinds of peppers.

    I have a bunch of raised beds and large pots that must be watered daily in this heat. The weeds are loving the heat and water and the fact that I am not spending time out there weeding—it is just too hot!

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      1. No, a small city lot but I call it my farm in the city. I think I do what is called square foot gardening, succession planting and sustainable harvesting—I was not familiar with those terms until after I’d been doing it for 3 years. I have plenty of variety in smaller quantities, although I give away a lot of food. After a huge elm in my backyard had to be taken down—I laid newspaper and wood chips over the whole backyard, built raised beds from scrap wood, the beds don’t match but work so well for growing. The first year I had 3 beds, now I have 7 and a whole bunch of big pots. I’ll probably build another bed soon but it takes awhile to make good dirt. And I’m to the point where I will probably need to make a plan—well, I’m past that point but get around it by going vertical or moving big pots out of the way of the vining plants. It is the project that never ends. : )

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        1. That’s gardening for you! I’d love to see your garden, it sounds fascinating. Are you somewhere in the Twin Cities?

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        2. PJ I have opened and closed this several times and WP still will not let me reply to you. Yes, I’m in TC. SouthSide Mpls. I’m sure we can make a plan. Cooler is better. The backyard garden is 10 degrees warmer than the temp of the day. How do you contact off blog?

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        3. Edith I can’t respond to you either. WP is just letting me talk to myself. As long as you are not into perfection, then you are in.

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      1. SSP Maybe more impressive in the telling. A lot of hard work and good food but a bit chaotic and raggedy around the edges

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  17. Evening–

    We stopped at our local Farmers Market yesterday; got pork chops, hamburger patties, wild rice brats and asparagus, spinach and garlic scapes. Never had garlic scapes before; had to google them to see what to do with them.
    In the end, Kelly put them in a pasta salad.
    Anyone have favorite garlic scape recipes?

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