Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A cold spell

It has gotten cold and rainy the past few days. It is also windy, not at all unusual in Mercer County. There is also a threat of frost. Well, actually no official source is predicting a frost. It should come close to but not touch forty degrees tonight, according to the Internet. Still, the guy sitting in the bar a few stools up from me pronounced "we're gonna have a frost". The true arbiter of truth: The news on TV? The New York Times? Yahoo? Or what men say in bars.

Looks like an old co-worker of mine got some seeds from Rutgers and gave them to her mother. Looks like we should get pictures from Texas, Cape May, and now, Jersey City. Should be an interesting year for Ramapo tomatoes. ... If the frost doesn't get'em.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

They're on the balcony

To your left is one of the squirrels that I will attempt to fend off with the fencing, scary bird, and hot pepper sprinkled on the dirt. The weird blue thing on the left is the insulation from a Dell monitor.
It was warm last week but it should be cooler and wetter this week. The plants have turned out to be real hardy and I have two more pots with ready reinforcements should these plants meet an untimely demise.
Later on I will also grow some cayenne peppers like I did last year. Today they are still indoors.
Editor's note: I am volunteering this year at the Trenton film festival. Looks like they will have a lot of interesting if, I think "alternative" is the correct word, pictures this year.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sharing the wealth

My seedlings have done well. I have decided to share the wealth and give some new adolescent plants to a friend who has a real backyard. You may remember her from the collards story a few years back. She has promised pictures if the plants prosper.
So far this blog may seem a little wimpy. So he's growing tomatoes? Big deal. But I promise a fascinating plot. Conflict, battle with the squirrels, the weather and the local barn owls will fill this blog.
Already a squirrel has taken a nip at one of my balcony plants. I have sprinkled cayenne pepper on the dirt and put fencing around the plants. More to come.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The seedlings

Here are two of the seedlings as they looked a few weeks ago. Note the African violets edging into the pictures. The seedlings sprouted very easily and did quite well in the kitchen window. Note the plate they are sitting on. This is a traditional Italian plate that I used to eat spaghetti on when I was a little bambino.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ramapo tomatoes

A few months ago I was listening to Brian Lehrer on WNYC radio and he had a guest from the Rutgers Agricultural Extension service who was talking about the recreation of an old tomato hybrid, the Ramapo tomato. I bought the seeds, planted them in pots and I just transferred two of the teen aged tomato plants into larger pots and put them on my balcony. This blog will follow the adventures of my plants and the inevitable battles with the local squirrels. While not a major opus like the last two blogs, this blog is a summer project, similar to the "Twisting by the Pool" E.P. that Dire Straits issued a few decades ago.
In some ways it is closer to a true blog in that, unlike the sixties blog, it is being written in real time and I have no idea whether my stint as a gardener will work out as planned. I sort of knew how the sixties would work out.