Saturday, July 17, 2010

Things That Make You Go, "Whoa!!"

Let's talk about my Big George Tomato plants again.

It was April 12th, I believe, when I told you how proud I was of my little seedlings. And how amazing it is that "in about as much time as it took Zeila to "grow" her puppies (in utero), I'd have gigantic tomotoes."

Well, yeah, that would have been really amazing if it had happened. What's more amazing, is that it takes 3 or 4 times longer to achieve mature, fruit producing tomato plants than it does for a puppy to grow from conception to warm, pudgy, furry, precious, yummy-smelling little snugglers! Shows you how much I know.

Zeila could have conceived, birthed, nurtured and weaned her pups by now... and I still don't have tomatoes!

What I do have is super huge plants with dainty little flowers on them.

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Whoa! Those are some super huge tomato plants. They're taller then me - but no fruit yet. Hmpf.

That shot was taken less than 48 hours ago.

This morning I made a dreadful discovery...
Somewhere between yesterday afternoon and this morning, these guys appeared.

(not my photo - see copyright info)

The devastatingly destructive Tomato Hornworm. Whoa! Big, fat and ugly... and very hard to see because they blend so well with the stems and leaves.

In about 14-16 hours' time, they ate half my tomato plants! Amazing how quickly they work.

We (by we, I mean Joe) plucked off 7 or 8 of these guys that were 4 to 5 inches long and as fat as my thumb. Seriously. Eeeew! I couldn't bear to touch them... and I'm thankful for that because when Joe grabbed them (we first confirmed they wouldn't bite or sting), they oozed this slimey green goo. Blech! He didn't squish them, either... it must be some kind of defense mechanism. {shiver}

There are also a couple of these.

(again, not my photo)

Whoa! I had no clue what utterly disgusting, stomach-turning sight this was. Google search reveals that it's the hornworm with braconids. "Braconid wasps are considered beneficial bugs to your garden." These are their cocoons whose host is the hornworm.

Check out this link about them... pretty interesting, though gross. Anyway, we let them stay put.

Ack. Enough of that!

Here's something better.

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Whoa! Look at that size difference!

The first time I saw Kingston's hands when he was just a day old, I was awed by their size. They were such big - wide and long - hands for such a little guy. They immediately made me think of his Grandpa Joe's hands.

Kingston has a lot of growing to do before his hands get as big as his grandpa's!

Then, of course, there is this.

6 months - serious

I last posted a photo of him when he was 3 months old. His mommy took these of him when he turned 6 months. I just love the serious ones... his eyes are so expressive.

6 months - smiling
The smiley ones will melt you, too, though. Whoa! He is one handsome little dude!


The Farmer's Wife said...


I need to send Maggie over to pick those horn worms off your tomato plants! My goodness.

The Big George tomato plants are stunning, Pam. You'll have tiny tomatos, soon, if you have blossoms now. And then you'll be checking the green tomatos every day for a month, waiting for any tinge of color. THEN they will all ripen at once, causing you to frantically eat them day and night in an attempt to not waste any.

Oh, Kingston. He's such a beautiful, smart baby, isn't he? (We've never met, but you can just SEE how smart he is.)
Those hands are perfect. Something about little boy child son's were huge, too, and I kept looking at them, fascinated.

It's good to see a post!
It's good to see a picture of you!
Sending hugs, but not the girl, even though you could really use her....

Mom said...

My goodness, but that was a pretty gross lesson in horn worms!!! Think I'll continue BUYING my tomatoes! My one and only experience in growing tomatoes was a total flop! One tomatoe and the plant wilted to nothingness!!

Kingston's hand is so masculine and yet compared to Joe's hand, his little hand leaves much much room for growing! Our amazing, smart, and handsome little boy has become the apple of all our eyes!!!

About Me

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I'm a wife, mom, and grandma living in rural Vermont. I spend 40 hours of my week working outside my home and away from my garden, but am nevertheless passionate about healthy eating and sustainable living. By sourcing nutrient-dense food from local farms and avoiding processed foods, we are realizing how our over health is being impacted for the better. I’m excited to have you join me as I share what we’re learning and invite you to offer your insights in the comments. “…giving thanks in all circumstances…” 1 Thess 5:16-18