Nurture and nature

Our little family is growing!

Just a few more months!

TOMATOES!  Um, what did you think I was talking about?

Today, I expanded my terracotta farm empire and add a couple of more pots to my little balcony container garden.  It was an impulsive decision.  I had pulled into the shopping center that happens to house my local nursery, intending to turn around to go to a gas station, when inspiration struck.

In addition to a “Better Boy” indeterminate tomato plant, I also adopted two little spitfires: “Sweet Cherry” red peppers and “Mucho Nacho” green peppers.

The tomato plant will allegedly yield 1-lb tomatoes, and the peppers are purportedly rather foolproof.  I guess we shall see?  I fear that I may be getting a little too cocky about the whole gardening thing.

Also, did you know there is an actual town called Farmville?  It is in Southern Virginia.

(Discovering this was the highlight of the drive from Raleigh to Charlottesville last weekend.  I wonder if they ask their neighbors to help out with farm work!)

In other news, I know I have been complaining about this a lot lately, but the little green inchworms that hang from the trees are completely out of control right now.  I got back from my morning run today and was quite literally plastered with bright green worm corpses.  (Which were accompanied by a wiggly little beetle in my hair, which I discovered an hour later.  Um.  Ew.)

Then, cleaning my apartment this afternoon, I found these in the windowsill.  (Warning, dead bug pics ahead.)

I do believe that thing on the right is what that thing on the left morphs in to.  Gross.  Fascinating, but gross.

Today’s EAT: This afternoon, as I was munching some of my favorite Food Should Taste Good Multi-grain Tortilla Chips, I was struck by an simple idea on the back of the package:

Fruit+ brie + chips?  Sounds like gourmet nacho night to me!

One trip to the grocery store later, I was topping those chips with granny smith apples and red onions (both very thinly sliced) and, of course, creamy chunks of brie.

This only needed to bake for a few minutes to soften the cheese.  Topped with a drizzle of honey and some fresh rosemary.  It may sound like an appetizer, but pair it with a salad and I call it dinner!

Today’s DRINK: Creamy brie needs a nice white wine.

At $12, I splurged a little on this McManis Chardonnay.  And it’s a decent bottle.  Very much on the sweet side and strong citrus and green apple flavors.  As it happened, it paired quite well with the creamy brie and tart apples, but it’s definitely on the fruitier site for a Chard.

Today’s RUN: Double up!  I headed out for 3.4 easy miles this morning and another 4.4 easy this evening.  (I had planned to do 6-7 tonight with some track repeats, but heard thunder when I was a couple of miles out on my warm-up and booked it home instead.  I’m a huge pussy about running in weather that might involve bolts of electricity.)

Hopefully I’ll be able to make up the miles later this week.  I really would like to be doing 50+/week for the rest of April and the early part of May!

Today’s QUESTION: Anyone have tomato and/or jalapeno growing advice? Um…I’m pretty sure that it would’ve been basil manslaughter around here a couple of weeks ago without your guys’ fantastic advice.  I have no idea what I’m doing.  So I’m all ears.

PEE ESS: Check out the hilarious giveaway going on over at AngryRunner.  You can even win a ridiculously useless prize donated by meeee!

32 responses to “Nurture and nature

  1. We had awesome tomatoes two summers ago and crappy ones last summer… so not sure how much I really know. But I have heard it’s good to put crushed up egg shells around your tomatoes. Good luck with the plants!

  2. I have no advice on growing vegetables. My porch/deck/outdoor space is two inches in depth. 😛

    Those nachos however look amazing!! At what temp did you bake them?

  3. We grow ours in the ground and Ry is the tomato master so I have no advice. But…our Better Boys last year produced a TON of tomatoes! Ryan is going to be doing some more gardening basics posts this week! This year he’s growing tomatoes in pots too so he should have some good tips!

  4. Used coffee grounds are super good for tomato plants too

  5. No plant growing advice here. I’m useless.

    What’s with the bugs today eh? I had a random ant infestation in my kitchen. Not fun.

  6. Re: plants – I don’t grow any but I’m super stoked it’s approaching tomato season. Bf’s mom grows them like crazy and we reap many of the benefits!

    Re: bugs – Came home today to find the termite bait stations around my house had been pulled due to nonpayment of the termite bond renewal due last year. Sucks being broke. Also, bugs in the south suck ass.

    Re: nachos – Brie is such an amazing cheese! Dinner looks like it was delish.

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  8. I think tomatoes like to be hot but not too hot. Peppers like to be hot and sunny. Similar to Lisa, we had a great tomato crop two years ago but not last year. It got hot here really quick last year, and the peppers did great, but the rest of our garden was a flop.

  9. I don’t garden. I just benefit from my parents having one… :)

  10. I had tomatoes on my balcony once and the squirrels were eating them, even the green ones… (Oh and leaves are toxics for cats…)

    • Oh no! I don’t think squirrels can get to us, but I do worry about birds. And bats.

      Good to know about the leaves! *gives the cats a stern look*

  11. Better Boy is a really good tomato, but watch how big the plant gets. Indeterminate tomato plants can get really tall…like six feet tall…imagine Audrey II from The Little Shop of Horrors. Great blog!

    • Yeah, I decided to go with indeterminate because the dude at the nursery seemed to think I might get a little more fruit out of it. He recommended tying it to the railing of the balcony and letting it wind around there if it starts to get too big!

  12. I die laughing at your posts. Can I borrow the term terracotta farm empire? Because that’s what I’m going to have this year, too. Along with the sun shining on me with the “Smug urban farmers” look of disapproval, too.

    Jalapenos are tough to grow, but tomatoes…sun, sun, and more sun. I also heard you’re not supposed to get too much water on the leaves? Never stopped me, but hey…thought I’d pass it along.

  13. There is also a Farmville, NC! It is east towards the coast and home of Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery

  14. Don’t have any advice for you but will be happy to compare notes – have tomato and pepper plants growing now! Alongside green onions, garlic, oregano, and parsley

  15. Ugh gross with the bugs. I want to grow some veggies, but I’d definitely kill them.

  16. When it’s hot out, your tomatoes need a ton of water or you get weird sad sunburned tomatoes. And then you cry a little, and force your husband to eat weird sad sunburned tomatoes because you GREW them and so he needs to appreciate your work.
    And make sure you transplant them into proper sized containers before the roots are bursting out of the little pots they came in. Not that I’ve done that or anything…

    • Oh yeah, I did that today! I was just too lazy to do it last night, so I just set them in their pots. :)

      Thanks for the tip – I’ll definitely keep an eye on them! We get sunshine from noon until sunset, but I can always move them indoors if I need to.

  17. Mmmm, that looks delicious! I fail at urban gardening, but even my peppers turned out ok last summer. I think they might actually be fool proof!

  18. I have zero advice for gardening because I had a black thumb. BUT my boyfriend had a tomato and jalapeno garden a few years ago and did an outstanding job. He had so many we couldn’t eat them all. His trick was planting them in full sunlight against the house. They grew like mad!

  19. holy shit shelby, you just scared me into thinking you were preggo. glad to see it was just a tomato plant!

  20. Those nachos need to be in my life very, very soon. How have I never thought of brie nachos? We all know that I have a sick, sick obsession with cheese!

  21. Brie needs beer.

    I mean…they even both start with the same letter!

    Hefeweizen.

  22. I am totally printing out your MS Paint artwork for my office/seed growing operation – the plant thing is totally an obsession once you start – I try to only pay in cash so the hubby doesnt track my addiction – the first sign of a problem

    Go on You Tube again for videos of how to pinch and prune the sucker leaves. ALso plant them pretty deep, up to the first set of leaves. THe stem has little buds that will form lots of good root structures

    sorry for the typos I almost cut my finger off today choppiing salad veggies –

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