Monday, April 13, 2009

Heirloom tomatoes

Hey Ya'll,

My poor container tomatoes just about have whiplash from being dragged in and out. I know, I know...I should probably wait just a little longer, but the earlier they go in, the faster I'll be enjoying them.

It goes something like this; when they are FINALLY ready, I eat them with every meal. I grew my first Evergreen last year and had fried green tomatoes three nights running. I didn't even make it to the livingroom with the plate, I just stood at the kitchen counter and could not believe how good and sweet they were. (and that I actually made something edible!)

They start out like this...

And then before you know it...

And then... (this is a Yellow Pear)

My crowning glory...Fried Green Tomatoes!!!

After I'm over the initial excitement, I'll start sharing them with friends, but by August, I'll be hiding in the bushes, lobbing them at passing motorcyclists. I end up begging complete strangers to please take some off my hands before they rot on the vine. It never fails, but at least I'm consistent.

I remember a few years ago when we had so much rain and all my tomato growing brethren were pulling their rotted plants out of the ground, I was doing the Snoopy Dance all around the yard because I grow mine in containers so they don't drown.

Here I am peeking out from behind the San Marzano...almost like a Bell pepper on the inside, with almost no juice to speak of. Even in containers, you can see how tall they get. I don't pinch mine back and I remove the suckers near the bottom. I'm not follwing any hard and fast rule...I'm just plowing along on my own. I do add calcium and magnesium to avoid blossum end rot. Yuck!

I use good old horse pookey as an organic fertilizer. Don't be scared to try might be crap to you, but it's gold to me! :-)

I've never grown anything except Heirloom's, so I don't know if the hybrids get as tall. Last year, I had to splice stakes together because they were so high. I grew three in-ground last year as an experiment. The up side was that they got VERY big. The downside are these disgusting worms that I think are called cut worms (someone please correct me if the ID is off?)

THIS IS JUST GROSS AND IT REALLY TICKED ME OFF! A perfectly good Rutgers ruined!

None of the container plants harbored any. Could it be a co-inky-dink, or are these little buggers just too lazy to slither up the side of the pots?
On the bird front, it's still a little early for baby hawks and owls. I'm gearing up!
For those of you who are curious about Heirloom gardening, let me clue you in on something...Monsanto wants to control every bite of food you put in your mouth by their creation of the 'terminator seed.' It produces ONE time and that's it. With Heirloom gardening, you will probably pay a little more if you purchase a plant because you'll never have to buy another one! All the babies in the first picture were seeds from my plants last year.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog....m.
Monteen McCord

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hey ya’ll,

No, this first photo isn’t a newly discovered’s the cause of a downed Red-shouldered hawk. It’s a first for me in 26 years to care for a bird who is egg bound. Thanks to David of Cartersville for going out of his way to meet me over half way to get the bird to me. And thanks to another David (as in Dr. Martinez) over at Loving Hands Animal hospital for lending a hand for the surgical delivery. Unfortunately, the stress was too great for her and this beautiful bird passed away during the night.

Thanks to Jimmy, Loretta and Lauren for peeling this Barred owl from their chimney and driving him to me on a rainy day. Here is Lauren holding him while I get ready to administer some oral fluids. (I take advantage of extra hands while I have the opportunity) (Photo by Loretta)

My hope in this photo is not to gross you out with the meat being proffered, but to illustrate the third eyelid, the nictitating membrane, that is used for protection, sweeping debris off the front of the eye and lubricating the cornea… My guess is he thinks I’m going to poke his eyes out with the forceps… I had him for about a week while he regained his strength…

Our little friend is ready to go! (Photo by Loretta)

What a nice feeling to be able to help him go back into the wild, with a little help from my friends!

Thanks to Sid and Becky for coming out in the rain to help this Screech owl that had been hit by a car. They saw the poor thing standing on the side of the road, wet as all get-out. They turned around and scooped him up, went home and started to work trying to find him some help.

The left eye was completely shot, but in the hopes of placing him somewhere as a program bird, I started working on the right eye with steroid drops to reduce inflammation and dosing him with an NSAID in an effort to stop the brain swelling. Sometimes when the brain swells, pressure is put on the optic nerve causing blindness. Unfortunately, he lost the sight in his right eye, too and so I had to put him down.

To all the Good Samaritans who go out of their way to provide some assistance to our most vulnerable members of the planet…whether it’s scooping them out of the road, or providing transport, or donating a little Mouse Money to help me help, THANK YOU. I couldn’t do it without you.

Monteen McCord