Woe to the tomato harvest of 2011.
That's all of them up there, practically, and they weren't even that good. Look at those tiny, sorry tomatoes.
I blame the soil in those not-really-mine boxes, the weather, and the corn (for taking the hoop house during the critical early summer season). But mostly, I blame the soil. The small seed favas that overwintered there were gorg, but because I couldn't till them in, they did little good. This winter will be a heavily fortified sheet mulch, and next year we will try tomatoes again. I think.
There is a part of me that wants to turn my back on the whole idea of summer - the hot, hot days, the pink wine, the endless tomato sandwiches and no-cook dinners, the sprinklers, the dresses. I am starting to think that these conditions do exist consistently in certain parts of the world, and we in other parts have been led to believe that - like a snowy Christmas - they are essential for summer-time satisfaction.
I would like to say that I, for one, like the weather in the Pacific Northwest. I like jeans and boots. I like canning tomatoes in a not-insufferably hot October kitchen. I like that this place is mild, in both directions. Sure, I would love it on Maui. Hell yes. I liked stinky, sweaty, sexy New York City summers better than most. But this is Portland, and it is pretty fucking nice.
Maybe I would not say this if other people had the same bad tomato year that I had, if we lived in Alaska and a tomato cost $12. But you can buy them, or you can get them free, or both. The 25# boxes from Deep Roots were $20 each cuz we bought 100#s. Rock on. And the roasted tomato soup I made out of those free and falling apart heirlooms also = rock on.
So, maybe summer is alright after all. But I'll be glad to gut those natty boxes anyway, and say goodbye to big tomato dreams til next year.