Tuesday, May 27, 2008

You Getting Any Ripe Tomatoes Yet?

It's only May, fergodsake.
When we bought our tomato seedlings last month from the kindly Marin Master Gardeners, they warned me not to plant them until this month. Fine. Wait until the weather is cooperating.
But was I expecting edible 'maters this soon? Scary.
OK. I'm mad and I eat, but some of you aren't hearing my mad rants often enough.
Here's what I read in this morning's New York Times:
"Soaring Fuel Prices Take a Withering Toll on Truckers." Some guy in Georgia is contemplating selling off his fleet of trucks (if he even can) because the cost of diesel is too high for him to run a business.
"With Migrant Workers in Short Supply, a Farmer Looks to Machines." This fellow in New York cut down 25 acres of cherry trees because he couldn't depend on finding laborers to get them harvested. (You have to click and go see the picture. Shudder.)
"Contractors Are Kept Busy Maintaining Abandoned Homes." A team of men visits vacant, foreclosed-on houses in Florida to tweak them into some semblance of non-meth-lab, hopefully desirable condition.
These three stories are all being played out all over America! They ran in one national paper on the same day.
And that's just creepy. Because it makes me feel really bad about harvesting ripe tomatoes in my backyard already.
I mean, sure, I ate 'em. Good!
But. Global Warning.
Thanks, Bush.
(Yeah, well... I blame him for everything. He got his wish: Arma-geddit-on.)


namastenancy said...

Empty houses and people sleeping on the streets, in shelters on 15 to a room. What a world! I am surprised that we haven't had a squatter movement yet but I imagine that it will happen as the economic climate worsens. Enjoy your tomatoes - you deserve them. The only things that you destroyed in growing those tomatoes were bugs and snails. No people were harmed in the growing of those tomatoes.

RoxieWithMoxie said...

I miss Marin weather. Here in Portland, my little tomatoes would blush at your bounty.

cook eat FRET said...

don't even get me started... we are in the deepest of deep shit.

but that really is a beautiful pic of the lovliest tomato...

kudzu said...

Ah, the first tomato. And I still have bags of them in my freezer from last summer's bounty. And we should count our lucky stars (and pennies) that we can help ourselves along in a small, sustainable way in what really is a perilous time. Too bad we don't have a central "freezer locker" like my hometown did during the Victory Garden days.

Maybe some enterprising capitalist will set one up, here.

Chilebrown said...

No way,Is that really a ripe one from your garden? I am jealous. I am at least a month and a half away.
When is the Bacon Jam going to be ready?

Kevin said...

No tomatoes here until mid-June, then we get some from Campbell County (just north of here), which has micro-climate that produces early tomatoes. When I was a kid this was great, but now they're over-produced and so I'll only buy a few to tide me over until mid-July when they appear at the farmers' market.

And thanks for the article links, I'll get a column out of them.

Holler said...

Home grown tomatoes are just great, aren't they? So much more flavour.

Don't mention petrol, it is getting really expensive here. I make not have been awfully accurate, but I calculate our petro to be over $10 a gallon!

cookiecrumb said...

NamasteNancy: Oh, you wouldn't believe how hard I try not to harm the bugs. We live in peace.
But the world... it's failing.

Roxie: Well, we are lucky about our latitude. (Also, it's been only three tomatoes so far, LOL.)

ceF: You GET it. I'm scared, guilty...
and, yeah. That tomato. (Oh. Which also makes me confused. Alice in Tomatoland.)

Kudzu: Eep, me too -- frozen tomatoes in freezer. Spaghetti party at my house!!! At least we still have food, and that's only part of my point.
The world is in a flickering state.
PS, I would love a local, community commissary or kitchen or cooking warehouse. Fun! And useful. Because before long, we might be in a sharing, caring frame of mind. However... that article you sent me on MARIN COUNTY RESIDENTS GOING HUNGRY because we can't keep up with their needs is... frightening!!

ChileBrown: Yes, it's a Sungold; they are such horny little tomatos, always ripening so soon!
Bacon Jam still on the back burner, heh!

Kevin: Even mid-June is early (and gratifying), if you can just hold on.

Holler: I guess I'm balancing out my grief over the economy with a little tomahto (isn't that how you pronounce it?) joy.

Anonymous said...

I had 2 ripe cherry tomatoes this weekend. And they were actually quite tasty. What a great way to welcome in "summer"!

peter said...

If by "ripe" you mean "three-inch tall plants" than yes. Yes I am.

dancingmorganmouse said...

Wow this is spooky - we're getting stories about poor truckdrivers suffering petrol cost down-under too! And there were stories about some website mapping empty houses being crashed the other day by people looking for somewhere to live.
As for fruit trees, the drought or cheap imports has f***ed the industry pretty much for years now.
No tomatoes - but I'm still getting eggplants.

Anna Haight said...

Wow! Tomatoes already! The color is beautiful! Mine are flowering. This morning I published the ugly and economic post.

cookiecrumb said...

Anonymous: Yeah, we'll take them if the plant wants to give them to us early... Sigh...

Peter: Of course that's what I meant. You're right on schedule.

Morgan: That was my implication, that this disaster is global and everything is linked. The butterfly's-wing theory of consequences.

Anna: There are two new tomatoes on the plant today, and they are the deepest yellow-orange!

Hovey Vintage said...

Our grandpa used to grow tomatoes in his garden in Lincoln, Nebraska. Every 4th of July I couldn't wait to go and visit him just to sit on the stoop and eat vine ripened tomatoes! I just couldn't help but remember fond summer time memories --- and now I'm craving a BLT!

cookiecrumb said...

Hovey Vintage: (Great name!) I used to aim for a July 4 harvest. If I could get a ripe tomato by the Fourth of July, I figured I'd made it.
But May?? Yow.

mama o' the matrices said...

No ripe maters yet - not even blossoms. But that's New England for ya. Still, we've got six plants in the ground and we're hopeful.

But we're loving the fresh herbs... I'm teaching the Toddles to love cilantro! Finally, another cilantro-eater in the house.

cookiecrumb said...

Mama: A cilantro-eating bebe? Remarkable.
Hang tight with your tomaties... About a month, say?