Caging the Wild Tomato

Although I’m a lazy gardener, I’m among the fruit trees, veggies, and lavender often—watering, weeding, and pruning in a haphazard manner. But that doesn’t explain how a two foot tall and two and a half foot wide tomato plant appeared overnight. And covered with yellow flowers and fruit. A miracle?

It is only mid-March, but we’ve had a warm winter. Most days in the 80s and even in the 90s. I’ve already seen volunteer red oak lettuce near the apple tree and have eaten a few leaves over the past week. Now that I was looking for it, at the other side of the yard, I found another (about 10 inches high) feral tomato plant near where I’d planted a yellow grape tomato plant last year.

Beans_Violetta di Puglia Beans_teparyIf God was already at work in my garden, I thought I’d better get started myself.  I gathered some seed packages given by friends or bought through Bakers Rare Seed company last fall. I planted two types of fava beans: Broad Windsor (with edible flowers that look like small orchids) and Violetta di Puglia (a beautiful purple bean). I also planted a small, drought- and heat-tolerant blue speckled Tepary bean common to native peoples of the Sonoran deserts.  

I edged up the hillside to plant sugar baby watermelon seeds on one side and arancino melon on the other. On one location on the hillside and one below the kitchen window, I planted seeds for a cherry tomato blue berry that will be a dark purple in color. If all grows well, I will be eating my purple!

An anti-oxidant: anthocyanin. This cancer- fighting compound is responsible for the blue and purple pigment in fruits and veggies. Anthocyanin has been shown to aid in healthy aging, to prevent and fight certain cancers, and to protect against cardiovascular disease. Anthocyanin rich foods are lauded for their ability to help prevent age-related mental decline and to enhance the memory.  From rareseeds.com

I finished seed planting near the volunteer red oak lettuce with some red romaine. If God thought that was a good location for lettuce, who am I to argue?

I finished my 75 minutes of planting my spring garden by placing a cage around the wild tomato plant on the hillside. It might be my imagination, but it seems to be sulking today.

How does your garden grow? I’d love to hear your comments.

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About mlknowlden

In 2011, I left engineering to write full-time. Between the years 1992 and 2011, I’ve published 14 stories with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine that have featured the hypochondriac detective Micky Cardex and two stories that did not. The 1998 story “No, Thank You, John” was nominated for a Shamus award. Many of these stories have been included in anthologies and translated in multiple languages. With Neal Shusterman, I’ve also published a science fiction story for the More Amazing Stories anthology (Tor) published in 1998 and co-authored with Neal Shusterman an X-Files Young Adult novel (DARK MATTER) for HarperCollins in 1999 under the name Easton Royce. For Simon & Schuster in July 2012, we published an e-novella UNSTRUNG in Neal's UNWIND world. I have graduate degrees in English and Electrical Engineering.
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6 Responses to Caging the Wild Tomato

  1. Kaye Klem says:

    Wish I could taste all your wonderful homegrown goodies! My small yard is either all patio or landscape rock. I never had luck with tomatoes except in a Rocky Mountain state, otherwise they tended to fry in the sun–I remember my mother planting them in her flower beds with flowers to provide shade in the Midwest. I LOVE tomatoes, too. Technically I’m not supposed to garden because of allergy to molds in the soil. Plus I’m too lazy any more. I envy your variety and energy.

    • mlknowlden says:

      I’ve had issues with birds eating larger tomatoes but have had good yields with currant, grape, and cherry tomatoes. Tomatoes love the sun so I’m surprised yours have fried. I was sorry to miss the monster tomato plant sale at the Fullerton arboretum. Here was a snap shot of this year’s. I must go next year! Thank you for your comment, Kaye. I love your memories of tomatoes in the Rocky Mountains and the Midwest.

      Fullerton Arboretum Monster Tomato and Pepper Sale March 18 – 20, 2015.

      More than 230 varieties of tomato plants, ranging in size from currant to beefsteak and every color from white to black, will be for sale. In addition, more than 100 varieties of hot and sweet peppers will be available for purchase. The varieties include the malaqueta, an intensely hot pepper used in Brazil, Portugal and Mozambique; as well as the sweet sunrise orange, a orange/yellow sweet bell pepper.

      Back by popular demand is the Bhut Jolokia, also known as Naga Jolokia or Ghost Chili. Recognized as the world’s hottest chili, Bhut Jolokia is the Guinness World Record holder with an official Scoville heat rating of 1,001,304.

  2. Rebecca Lang says:

    Your garden sounds lovely.

  3. dayya says:

    Lovely post! I wish I could have a garden! But I’ve got a potted basil that’s happy in the bathroom window! d:)

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