At our local garden center this spring I was captivated by a new variety of tomato called “Fourth of July”. I usually buy an Early Girl to satisfy my impatience in waiting for the harvest, but this new one promised to ripen even earlier. The promise was a tomato by the Fourth of July.
It did blossom slightly earlier than the rest and sure enough there was a ripe tomato ON the Fourth. So I picked it. But we had company for the day and I was in the middle of doing something so I had to set my treasure down, my gift from God of an early-early tomato. It was ONLY a few minutes later when the distraction passed and I turned back to my tomato which was now being consumed by a bevy of delighted chickens– it was their first home-grown tomato of the season, too!
Can I even express the depths of my disappointment????
Well luckily another one ripened on the Seventh of July. They are small, but one fruit makes a perfect tomato sandwich. It was delicious!
Here is the plant today on the Eleventh of July:
I am sure my eagle-eyed readers will note all the weeds in with the plant– by way of explanation…. I actually planted the spearmint in there to protect against the plague of stinkbugs who also like tomatoes. The grass is a weed that shouldn’t be there, and then there is a squash/pumpkin vine thing that I am just curious about cause I didn’t plant it. It will be my October Surprise!
Yesterday, I noticed that my Big Beef tomato plant next door had a ripening tomato also. Today it was half eaten, still hanging on the vine. There were teeth marks, not beak damage. New this year is a resident groundhog who lives here:
So far he has been too quick and eluded photographic capture, but we have met face to face. I don’t mind him living there, but I am sorry he likes tomatoes. His front door is about 20 feet from my plants. I guess it was sort of thoughtful that he left me half. You know, sharing.
But I gave it to a chicken instead…