Wednesday, August 28, 2013

O, Beautiful Tomato!

Helloooo, beauties!

Ah, the harvest of my labors. This is not the entire harvest. We've eaten some and given some away, but this represents the bulk of my luscious tomatoes. This year we have Garden Peach (small, yellow, with a bit of blush), Rutgers (big, red, meaty, and perfect for sandwiches and burgers) and Amana Orange (pumpkin colored, large, and tasty). This is the best tomato crop I've had in years. The secret? Kitty litter buckets.

We gave up the big victory garden behind the garage last year. It's just the two of us and the trees got bigger, creating more shade. The soil was tired and needed a break. I did a few tomatoes in half of the herb bed, but soon realized the lilac tree was shading them too much. Fine. We don't need a lot of tomatoes, just a few. This year, thanks to my resourceful in-laws, we used five gallon kitty litter buckets. Huzzah! Tomato victory!

They are bright yellow and tacky as hell, but I don't care. I can move them around easily for maximum sun and water convenience. I also dumped in a solid handful of slow release fertilizer in each bucket. These babies soon overwhelmed my flimsy tomato cages. Next year, maybe I can talk the husband into recreating the Best Tomato Cage Ever based on the barbed wire man traps of WWI. What? Why recreate the wheel when we've got the Army manuals from 1916 at hand?

This weekend, maybe we'll buy a new blender and make gazpacho. I really am not sure how we've managed without one this long. Oh, wait. Crappy tomato harvests. Good thing I've got five kinds of basil to go with them.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Farewell Little Lustron House

We live on a pretty historical block. There are two Sears catalog homes, the original 1890s farm house and a Lustron house. Not bad for our little corner of town. However, soon we will lose one of our little gems, the Lustron.

What the heck is a Lustron house? It's made of steel. A post-war pre-fab relic, this little two-bedroom house is solid steel construction with baked porcelain finish. It's got nifty built-ins, pocket doors and was designed for maximum efficiency. This one has been a rental ever since we've moved in, but we regard it fondly for it's quirkiness. I'm going to miss it. I also am rather fond of the large redbud in the backyard that blooms a rich deep purple-pink. The house going in will be fine, I suppose. It'll have four bedrooms and all the mod cons.  It'll have a porch, so perhaps more than just us will hang out and be neighborly. So, with regret, we say farewell to a quirk of history.