Here’s a look at how things turned out with Governor Bev Perdue’s participation in the Plant a Row for the Hungry program. These beauties were harvested shortly before the holidays.
In addition to the regular kitchen garden on the grounds of the governor’s mansion here in Raleigh, Governor Bev Perdue has planted extra collard greens and cabbage as part of the Plant a Row for the Hungry national campaign.
Have you heard about this program? Plant a Row started in 1995 and encourages gardeners to plant an extra row of vegetables in their gardens and then donate the produce to local food agencies and soup kitchens. American gardeners have donated more than 14 million pounds of food as part of this grassroots effort. And it was all started by one guy. What a story!
That’s Life in Raleigh.
So today I pulled up most of my tomato plants. Well, I pulled all of them up except for the cherry tomatoes, even though it’s still the middle of summer here and my plants still looked great. My stress levels should drop now that I no longer have to worry about my tomato plants.
I planted an even dozen tomato plants in this year’s expanded backyard garden. For all of my efforts, we were rewarded with a grand total of two tomatoes on our plates from the garden this summer. Even those two tomatoes were not hole-free, thanks to the birds.
I have waged a backyard battle all summer long against the squirrels and the birds. I tried many things. When I put nets over the plants, the creatures went under the nets or just pecked and munched in spite of the nets. I hung aluminum pie plates in the garden, but that didn’t frighten anything away. I put up a plastic owl, but once again nothing was frightened away. I tried leaving the half-eaten tomatoes hanging on the vine so that the creatures could return to those and leave the others alone. All these efforts were in vain.
The squirrels in my yard have become quite talented at running with tomatoes in their mouths. They can climb trees while a tomato half their weight hangs from their jaws. Oftentimes, however, they are quite content to devour their loot at our picnic table! They seem to love tomatoes at any stage of ripeness. Green, red, it’s all good to the squirrels and the birds. I can’t forget the birds! They’re relentless in their pursuit of my tomatoes, too. Who knew that even robins prefer tomatoes to what they usually find on the ground?
So now we’ll have to be content with cherry tomatoes–(why don’t they like the little ones?!?!)–habanero! peppers, and some eggplant.
That’s Life in Raleigh.