Sunday, August 14, 2011

The news from When Pigs Fly Farm

Well, at least Mr. Stripey has gotten his stripes.
If you are in the market for green tomatoes, run -- don't walk -- to When Pigs Fly Farm. Farmer Jim and I are awash in them at the moment. Well, to be totally accurate, our cherry tomatoes are coming on. Farmer Jim's harvested a first batch and I'm not too far behind with my heirloom "Snowberry." 

Hello, my pretties.
But Farmer Jim's Romas and my badass big boys, "Cherokee Purple" and "Mr. Stripey"  remain resolutely green.

But soft, what patch of color on yonder tomato breaks? (Lower left hand corner. Really!)

What's an heirloom tomato, you may ask? It's probably preaching to choir since heirloom fruits and vegetables are so de rigeur in the foodie world these days, but according to the University of Wikipedia extension office, an heirloom tomato "is an open-pollinated (non-hybrid) heirloom cultivar of tomato."

In English:  They hail from plants that have been grown for hundreds of years, generally from their own, unaltered seeds.

And in English, again: They taste like real tomatoes. Not like the hybridize mash-ups you get in the grocery store -- and sometimes even grow yourself. I suppose it could be argued this is a somewhat harsh, subjective opinion on my part. I mean how do we know what a "real" tomato tastes like if all we've ever eaten are the hybridized versions, which therefore define "real" for us? You know, it's the old "If a tree falls in the forest. . . ." philosophical maze.

Trust me. You quickly learn what a "real" tomato tastes like when you chomp into an heirloom. Which I hope to do in the next few weeks.

In other news:

Poor Japanese Eggplant #2. It's tomato neighbors finally overwhelmed it, denying it any and all sunlight, so I transplanted it. I don't think it's too happy with me these days.

Um, mom? I don't feel so good.

Farmer Jim's pickling cukes are starting to make an appearance. These have to be about the cutest thing on a vine right now. (Sorry for slight blur; it was a bite breezy in Bermtopia yesterday.)

And finally. I don't think I've mentioned yet another WPFF subsidiary -- The World-famous WPFF 2.0 Sunflower Patch.

The Patch
When WPFF 2.0 appeared a few months back, the game plan was to let it lie fallow for the summer while it "cooked" for summer 2012. Being the type of person who can't stand seeing a bare piece of dirt without something stuck in it, I asked Farmer Jim if I could throw a few leftover sunflower seeds from the Back Forty onto WPFF 2.0.

Long story short: The sunflowers in the Back Forty are a gigantic FAIL. They obviously do not like sharing a stage with the 18 zillion other perennials I've got growing, but, my, my, my, they do LOVE When Pigs Fly Farm 2.0!

I am in love with this annual. It's hardy -- surviving a temporary swampland conversion the weekend of Assistant Farmer Holland's visit -- and pest- and bastardly-bird resistant (well, until they go to seed, then game over.) The architecture of its leaves and burgeoning blossoms is dizzying.

And they are almost animate -- twisting and turning to follow the sun as it travels across the summer sky. 

Thank you, Farmer Jim! The WPFF 2.0 World-famous Sunflower Patch is a true summertime treat.

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