Saturday, August 3, 2013


From the man who almost bought me Auction Meat...I proudly announce: Auction Tomatoes!

They appeared on my kitchen counter overnight. This was one of Hick's bargains. He got 11 tomatoes for $3.00, which is better than the $3.65 I paid for THREE tomatoes from Walmart last week. I swear, I don't know how people eat without auctions!

We don't have a garden. We tried, way back when the boys were little. Borrowed a tiller from my grandma, dug up the earth behind the garage, and planted carrots, corn, tomatoes, onions, watermelon, and cantaloupe. Funny how the animals that lived here before us thought it was a salad bar. We claimed a few carrots, maybe a tiny onion or two, and a couple of tomatoes.

The cats thought they were big game hunters, laying around the garden and nabbing rabbits galore. Dragging those hulking rabbits across the front yard, practically chest-thumping over their victory, only to have their prizes wrenched from their jaws by the dogs. Oh, and the cats also thought the garden doubled as a feline latrine.

The most depressing days were when we could spy the baby melons in the evening, marveling at their expansion, only to observe a deer standing over them the next morning as we backed out of the garage. Then there was the herd of neighbor horses that got loose and tore up the garden like hyperactive Lipizzaner Stallions in a rectangular show ring. Birds perched on the plants throughout the day, pecking through the tender blushing skin of the tomatoes.

The darkest hour was when, at sunset, I went to pick a ripe tomato for supper, and my hand went through the back of it, just as a GIANT GREEN TOMATO HORNWORM peeped over the top. I sent Genius to find Hick. My screams must have given him a sense of urgency, unlike my cries heralding the two-minute-contraction phase of Genius's labor, which prompted Hick to take a shower and pack himself a bag of comfortable shoes and Milky Ways before driving me to the hospital...because he came running to the garden carnage.

Mighty Hick, my hero, grabbed that hornworm between his thumb and index finger, and exclaimed, "He tried to bit me!" Next thing I knew, Hick's hand was awash with tomato seeds. Tomato hornworms apparently poop themselves when their heads are crushed by a heroic husband. Since it was not feasible for Hick to stand in the garden all day and pick hornworms off the tomatoes, we tried a powder insecticide. By then we had only a few tomatoes left.

Our gardening days are over. Sometimes, the country wins.


  1. God bless farmers. It ain't that easy!

  2. A giant green tomato hornworm? That sounds disgusting! I would have screamed, too.


  3. The only thing I ever tried to grow were tulips. Unfortunately, I planted the bulbs upside down and never saw them again. Maybe they're blooming in China.

  4. My husband is forever fighting the critters. Once he saw a squirrel snatch one of his biggest tomatoes off the vine and run down the fence with it. Another time a ground hog sat up on its hind legs and plucked one after the other and stood right there and ate them in front of him.

    We have tomatoes now, gave up on all the rest. He plants enough for us and the wildlife.

  5. joeh,
    They must have to stand guard 21/7, what with taking off to go to the auction with their wares.

    They are vile, vile critters Madam! If you are in need of nightmare fodder, simply consult your BFF Google for an image.

    Well, at least you weren't a little boy who refused to wash his ears, and had carrots sprouting from his ear canals.

    What is he, Farmer Barney Fife? Does Bill not even shake a curmudgeonly fist at those critters as they scamper away with his harvest? I am willing to give him curmudgeoning lessons for free. I'm sure AINT BEE would not react so calmly if one snatched a pie off her windowsill.

    That groundhog was asking for it. Next thing you know, the invaders will be flinging the fruit of Bill's vine like overeager participants in that tomato-throwing festival in Spain.