Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Maybe I'm NOT a Tomato Ranchin' Bum

I was doing some off-blog chatting with Dr. Biggles. Sent him today's New York Times food section cover story (about meat, duh!; link expires in a week).
We've been commiserating about the unbelievably incessant rain in the Bay Area. (We are not being wimps; you'd melt too if you had to go through 27 days of drippage in March and as of today, 11 in April.)
It's heavy, cold, wet rain.
Biggles found a red worm crawling on the super-saturated (judging by the photo he sent me) inside of his bathroom window.
Maybe the worm story is just funny.
But the weather is bad news for farmers. Tana at Small Farms spoke to a farmer at the Santa Cruz market who told her tomatoes are already in trouble. The seedlings are mature enough to go into the ground, but the ground is too hostile to take them.
Last year I had my tomatoes in container pots on the patio as early as March, I think. By the middle of June, I was harvesting my first ripe ones, and I had a whole (little) bowlful by the Fourth of July (see fireworks here).
I was so pleased with myself — especially when we dropped by the Marin County Fair and looked at the pathetic little green marbles rolling around on paper plates, over in the Horticultural Exhibit. Then and there, I decided to exhibit my ripe tomatoes in 2006, and I filled out a preregistration form.
Well, the exhibitors' guide arrived in the mail yesterday. And there's no way I'm going to be able to enter.
There's no way I'm going to be able to get tomatoes into the ground soon enough.
So, as I joshed with Dr. Biggles, maybe I'm not a tomato ranchin' bum.
Maybe I'm a mildew ranchin' bum.


the Kabobster said...

Yeah, all I can grow here in Monterey is mildew resisting oregano.

Kung Foodie said...

Well our parsley plant is LOVING this rain. It's two feet tall and well on it's way to taking over our raised veggie bed (not that I bothered to plant any other veggies yet).

I guess I should have taken advantage of those couple weeks of warm sunny days we had in January.

cookiecrumb said...

Kabobster: My brother's in PG, and he's stunned that he can grow (ooh, I forgot)... sage? Poor guy will never be able to do tomatoes.

KF: This is the first year ever we've carried over our parsley plant from the year before. It doesn't look half bad. I'll need a new thyme plant, though. And oregano too! Everything's slimy out there.

cookiecrumb said...

Hey wait! Kabobster, you ARE my brother. Damn pseudonyms.

Dagny said...

I keep worrying about the grape crop. Plus I really hate walking to work in the rain.

KathyR said...

Mildew just really doesn't work in a salad...

Sorry about the fair.

cookiecrumb said...

Man, I was looking forward to that blue ribbon.
I woulda won!
Well... No one else is gonna win, so...
(Hm. Diabolical hand-rubbing.)

Jamie said...

Oh, *man*. That stinks, and I sympathize. That was totally me last year, when everything was three feet deep in water. Mildew and mold was our number one crop.

This year we are already three inches behind on our rain, and they are predicting a hardcore drought for us. I foresee a large water bill, and no greens because they bolt on contact with the parched soil. I just pulled up my entire baby bok choi row and stir-fried it because it looked like a freaking bouquet.

What the &%$#@ is wrong with everyone's weather? Oh, never mind. I know the answer to that. :-(

Kevin said...


We could use some of that rain here. We're seriously down for the year. I suspect this summer's going to be brutal.[sigh]

Tana said...

We have seven tomato plants in the ground already: planted before the big rains. My baby Thumbelina carrots are about an inch tall or so, and four cardoons have sprouted, too.

Hopefully it will end soon, but my participation in the Eat Local Challenge in May is seriously under reconsideration.

Stay dry, babycakes.

cookiecrumb said...

Tana: I was scrolling though old photos today, and I came across one of Bean Sprout sitting amidst a "forest" of tomato plants. Tall, lush, shade trees.
Date of photo? April 23, 2005.
Big fat rats!
Anyway, I think for once I really will skip the tomato garden this year.
On the bright side, the rain's almost over.