Fellow gardener Stephanie Desmon, author of the Picture of Health blog here at The Sun, can't seem to catch a break. Her zucchini grows too large, her cukes have spikes and now.... Well, read on.I have been dreaming of this tomato, a pink beauty that has slowly been growing on the massive vine behind my house. It was going to be our first tomato of the season and I was going to pick it when I got home from work. Would I have it with lox and cream cheese on a bagel? Or would we eat tomato sandwiches? The possibilities were endless.
Yesterday morning, I checked on it. One more day in the sun, I figured, and it would be perfect. Well, perfect is the enemy of good, I would learn.
When I got home, my 5-year-old son shared the news: A squirrel had eaten my precious fruit.
I was beside myself, talking about how sad I was at the loss of this tomato, which I had been growing since May.
My husband tried to stop me. My son’s eyes started welling up. Apparently he, too, was crushed by this development and my husband had just finished telling him how it wasn’t worth crying over a tomato.I got with the program and stopped talking about that pesky squirrel and his gluttonous behavior. All the while, however, I was thinking to myself that crying over this tomato was a perfectly fine reaction to the situation.
I grew this garden to teach my kids about where their food comes from. I thought it would be fun to watch it grow together and then have some yummy, healthy goodies to eat at the end.
And I figured I could save some money, growing the stuff I spend a lot of money on at the grocery store – baby tomatoes, big tomatoes, cukes and green peppers.
So far, we’ve gotten a handful of tiny tomatoes – not enough that I don’t have to still buy some at the store – two cucumbers and just a single bud has grown on my six green pepper plants.The zucchini plant has done fairly well, but even that enormous plant hasn’t given me the overabundance of squash I was warned about.
The lesson is, as one of my colleagues told me: Carpe Tomato. Don’t wait for the perfect shade of red. Seems like it’s better to pick that sucker before the squirrels do.