Thursday, May 28, 2009

Heirloom Tomatoes, Fig Trees, and Birds

The soil in my recently plowed garden is absolutely fertile! The tomatoes, bell peppers, butternut squash and sorghum is huge and beautiful. The land along the Mississippi River edge is said to be extremely rich because of years of the Mississippi flooding and depositing silt. I'm finding this to be true.

The heirloom tomatoes are doing well so far. This year has been the year of the caterpillar. Advice ranges from sevin dust to BT organic spray. One thing all the advice givers agree on is to spray early to catch the caterpillars just as they hatch and are most susceptible and spray often. Otherwise, NO TOMATOES. Tomatoes has been my bane! Never have I grown a serious crop of tomatoes in an area that's famous for it's "Creole Tomatoes". Hopefully this year will be different. One thing is certain, I've already learned A LOT!

My neighbor, with whom we are now friends after a rocky start, stopped today to offer advice. His family has lived here long before he was born and he is almost 80. His family is well noted in south Louisiana as excellent farmers. The Becnels, as they are called. That's their last name. He wasn't at all sure about the heirloom varieties I am growing. He was quite puzzled and asked why wasn't I growing the great new hybrids that beat all the old ones to heck.

Errrr.......Ummmm....??? "I'm curious", was the only explanation I offered. How do you explain to an elder that you want to save your own seed, see different colors and shapes and taste different flavors........that um......frankly aren't found in the newer varieties. He did offer me quite a bit of great advice and patiently answered all my questions (which I am always full of). He also explained how to grow trees from cuttings from a great old old old pear tree I have in my yard.

I was also told by a friend that heirlooms weren't a good choice in Louisiana because Dan Gill said so. Look Dan Gill I still love you and have a crush on you, but you ain't the say all end all! Now I hope to prove Danny Boy and everyone else WRONG! Hope I don't have to eat crow as my Mother-In-Law sez.

Marzano Paste tomatoes
Pink Accordion Tomatoes
Red Strawberry Tomatoes
Another variety of paste tomatoes.....I have many other heirloom varieties as well. I have high hopes for Pineapple (which I read was the tastiest of heirlooms), White Currant, Orange Banana, Cour Di Bue (I think), and Cherokee Purple.....If I could just get a few of each. I'll give a taste report if they make it through the rigors of Louisiana.
Here are the fig trees grown from cuttings. To everyone who would like to grow them.....This method works! They are growing beautiful with thick white roots protruding from the bottom of the pot. I'll have to put them into new pots or plant them.
This is a picture of the plant which contains a mommy bird and her four tensy eggs. The eggs are pale blue with brown speckles.
And here is my naughty errent Rosalina (as the girls named her). She keeps getting out of the backyard fence somehow. I think she's enlisting the help of our dog Camira. Come on Camira....give me lift!!! I'll lay an egg for you! Camira loves to eat eggs. Maybe that's why she's as wide as she is long!
Isn't this one ugly chicken? I don't care that Byron thinks she's pretty. She's ugly.


Sandy said...

Hey ya Kristi, everything is looking great! I can't wait! Be aware that there are a lot of studies going on right now researching a suspicion that BT causes harm to the honey bee larvae as they go to flowers to collect nectar and pollen and feed it to their young. The tough part is not to spray when there are flowers in a best case situation -- or at the very least at night so there is some time for the BT to degrade. I'm not certain what the 'life span' of BT is. Anyway, something to keep in mind. I have been struggling with caterpillars too. A bee keeping friend told me about a recent meeting she'd been to where they discussed BT concerns. I sprayed BT after the petal fall on my fruit trees (plum and peach mainly) and picked off a boat load. That takes some patience!
Hope your tomatoes work out!
(ps: speaking of the older generation ... my father in law finally saw my potato towers, he literally shook his head and didn't say one word. ha. suffice it to say, he wasn't impressed. time will tell. :) )

JeanSkirtGirl said...

I agree your chicken chase me around in your yard and almost kiied me lol love ya carmencita