Thursday, July 08, 2010



Robb called me at work the other day to tell me that he's eaten the first tomato from the garden. Our sun-gold tomatoes, which are heavy with tiny green fruits, have rewarded our hopes with five tiny orange tomatoes.

The first two didn't even make it into the house. We each ate one, warm from the garden.

I'm sure the time will come, later this summer, when we're drowning in tomatoes. Then I'll laugh at myself for taking a ridiculous photograph of three tiny baby tomatoes.

Or of taking a photo of a katydid on an unripe tomato.

Maybe my future self should learn not to be so hard on my current self. My current self has learned to cut my past self some slack, I gnaw on the old bones of regrets much less than I used to.

Kale makes a far better dish than regret! We feast on it at least twice a week. It's kind of insane how much food these plants produce. We harvest, and harvest, and there's always more. Wonderful.

The beans, on the other hand, are likely to be a fleeting pleasure.

Speaking of harvests, we ate the first blackberries from the bushes we hacked back last summer. Not impressive at all.

Around here, blackberries are a pretty serious weed. Our bushes were on probation, but I think we'll be pulling them out next year.

What should we replace them with? I'm particularly asking Northern Californian blog readers. We grow toyon and coffeeberry and huckleberry and various wild currants for the birds. What berries should we grow for ourselves?


Kristen said...

How many kale plants did you sow? I'm curious. I planted 7 spinach this year and they all bolted within a week of going outside, so that was a miss, but I'm trying to learn what I'm doing wrong, and how many productive plants it would take to keep Ben and I in leafy greens.

Christine said...

For me, taking photos that seem silly later on are more about the joy of the moment rather than the subject. We had our first tomato of the season tasting ceremony yesterday and it was split 3 ways (a sungold, mind you!) and eaten on the count of 3. Silly and fun!
As for native berries... Ribes aureum! Yellow flowers that turn to yummy little berries you must harvest before the birds do. Disclaimer is I haven't eaten one before, but I hear they're yummy.

Anonymous said...

Blackberries (Himalayan)ARE weeds pretty much everywhere in the US. It could still be too early to pick your Blackberries. They need to almost be "falling" off the vine on their own to really be ripe and sweet.
I'm in OR, not N. CA. but I'm really happy with our Blueberries. You'll need two varieties. I have three plants. They are about eight years old now and five feet tall. So GOOD!
Yak~King blues

Thomas Rainer said...

Your camera makes even tomatoes exciting. Always a pleasure to stop by . . .

Meredith said...

Our blackberry season is over, sadly. It goes so fast! One second they're not quite ripe, and then suddenly -- how many nights in a row can you eat blackberry cobbler?

As for not being impressed, I must say that the wild ones are a hit or miss sometimes and seem to depend on water availability for their sweetness. Also, as F. always cautions me, for eating plain, only take the berries that come off the vine with no resistance, so willing you almost don't have to tug. For cobbler, you can pick the ones that aren't perfectly ready yet -- and trust the sugar in the recipe to disguise a few flaws. ;)

Never be ashamed of your joy and passion for the first tomatoes of the season, Lisa. It's a beautiful thing!

lkw said...

Oh, my - the kale is long gone in my garden (I'll have to wait for fall harvests again for greens, including lettuce and spinach), but we're starting to feast on summer tomatoes (not to mention the chard and zucchini). But I'm in quite a different climate than you are.

The beets have also been eaten and enjoyed, but I won't sow them again until late summer.

We'll hopefully be enjoying yard-long beans, green beans, tomatillos, eggplant, and peppers, along with the tomatoes sometime soon.

Stefaneener said...

My purple boysenberries (from Berkeley Hort) are wonderful. Complex flavor, not very thorny. I ripped out my Himalaya Blacks last year -- there are too many wild and they were a thorny mess.

I know what you mean about Sungolds. The first few haven't made it into the house, but later we'll be giving them away by the basketload.

Your kale looks great. I haven't had much luck with Lacinato, even though it's my favorite.


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