By default, the first tomato to blush in the garden should be a portent to a wonderful day, don't you think? It's not that I ask for alot [my day wasn't], but when are Mondays ever wonderful? ;-)
So instead of displaying that Brandywine Pink from yesteday, I head toward another section of the terrace orto where thrives a variety of vining vegetables: snake melons, japanese cucumbers and uchiki kuri squash. This location was not the best in terms of sunlight hours, but it was the safest place to keep the doxie pup from doing further damage to the plants! These were all started from seed, with the final butternut squash growing from pulp seeds that I had tossed into the back lot after cutting into a squash purchased at the market. What's so remarkable here is that I haven't really tended to this isolated bunch of viners. I just let them be and within a matter of weeks, flowering, then fruits were making an appearance.
Over the weekend I went around admiring orderly little gardens up in the mountain hamlets surrounding Lake Como. What did I find? Nothing but healthy zucchini, pumpkins, basil, rosemary, salad greens, bell peppers, beans (bush and pole) and tomatoes. And more tomatoes...and even more tomatoes. Between the loads of Cuor di Bue and San Marzano, all I could surmise is that old-timers - like my father-in-law - stick to tradition, and there is no such thing as attempting the latest fad to send raves around the plot community. What grows in their orto is what a grandfather and a great-grandfather must have grown long before that. Maybe there's a slight chance to convert a few, but for the most part, you just gotta let 'em be.