Monday, June 20, 2022

Toiling Out On the North .40

I got a text from Genius on Sunday. Hick got a Father's Day phone call, but he did NOT get a picture.
"My pepper plants on the balcony are growing their first peppers!"
"What kind are they?"
"These are habaneros. I have two other varieties growing - Tabascos and cayennes - that aren't fruiting yet."
"I THOUGHT they looked too shrivelly to be bell peppers."
"Yeah, habaneros always have that shrivelly look to them."
[Let the record show that I was relieved to find out these were habaneros, and NOT bell peppers from which Genius was withholding water like a 1960s football coach denying his players at 2-a-days in August!]
"I am impressed by your green thumb."
"These aren't actually *quite* habaneros, they're red habaneros, which are in the same family, but a slightly different variety that should be a little less spicy. In theory, they grow better in this area, so I planted them instead."
"Any tomatoes? A person gave Pony a tomato while delivering the mail."
"No tomatoes - I am not a big tomato fan and didn't want to use any of my very limited space on them! Though I will probably have far more peppers than I can possibly use!"
"At least you're not growing zucchini. They would take over the city!"
"Squash is the same way. Maybe once I have more space to grow them in."
"You could refer to your balcony as The North .40..."
Leave it to Genius to take up farming in the heart of Pittsburgh. 


  1. How do you know about "withholding water like a 1960s football coach denying his players at 2-a-days in August!"? That line just jogged a part of my memory that should not be jogged.

    My tomatoes were not, no fruit. I consulted the internet and guess what, tomatoes need water! Who knew? They are now fruiting.

    1. My older cousin played high school football. Word gets around...

      Congratulations on your fruiting! Maybe you can spare a tomato for the mailman. I don't think that's frowned upon.

    2. not only were we denied water, but we were reminded before every practice to "not forget your salt tablets!"

    3. Is that some kind of IRONY? Were you supposed to chew them and swallow without water, heh, heh? Or actually take them with water before or after coming to practice?

  2. 1955-56, Bear Bryant almost killed guys in Texas with that practice.

    1. I wonder if he helped start that trend. At least he wasn't punching opponents like Woody Hayes!

  3. Genius could make pickled peppers from his excess. Funny how kids suddenly become gardeners when they were never interested as children. "no-one" has quite a variety going.
    I am going to try growing potatoes. I recently watched "The Martian" where Marc Watney grows plenty, so I bought one with plenty of "eyes" and I'm going to cut it up and put two pieces in three separate pots and see what happens. I'm also going to try carrots and beans that I can freeze if I get a decent crop.

    1. Genius likes to cook, so I figure he'll think of something to do with his peppers.

      Our garden was eaten by deer and rabbits and birds. So we gave up after one year. I especially resent the loss of my little watermelons, and especially the tomatoes. At least we got a few tomatoes.

      At the time, we had five cats, who would lie around the perimeter, WATCHING those rabbits eat stuff. Yet they would kill a rabbit in the BARn field. I guess they were letting them fatten up!

      We didn't try growing potatoes, but it was fun digging them up on my grandma's farm. We got a few little carrots that didn't get eaten. They looked kind of anemic! Thin and pale.