Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

The Garden Chronicles

Gardening, Family, Saving Your Bacon, German Beer Radishes, Spinach Salad

I spent weeks hardening-off my precious tomato plants.  Taking them from the garage in the morning  and leaving them to fend for themselves in the wind and the sunshine of favorable spring days.  Late in the day they were returned to their lair in the garage. When I was not around Jill did his for me.

At long last the danger of of a late spring frost dissipated and the tomato plants were transplanted.  Shortly after which I had to leave town for a spell - releasing the tomato patch to Jill's care.  

It is useful to note that the main garden consists of sturdy, direct-seeded vegetables and hardy cabbage plants.  It can withstand virtually any weather event and is vulnerable only to insects and rodents.  To be sure the tomatoes are another matter.  Baby tomato plants are delicate.  They're vulnerable to late frost, early blight, insects and extreme and unpredictable weather events.

It was after I left that a storm of biblical proportions was forecast.

It called for straight-line winds.  The weather-guessers predicted torrential rain.  Lightening.  Hail and flooding.

I want my 77 readers to know that my wife is a real trooper. There she was still hobbling-about on a splint as her busted leg continues to mend.  She's training Sister after all - the little blonde Lab - and also balancing Girlfriend's needs for exercise and attention.

And with very little notice she learns that this year's entire tomato production is about  to be pounded into the ground.  The loss of the tomato plants would have terrible consequences.  The domino effect would extend its reach quite far.  Countless BLTs, salads, sauces, casseroles and Bloody Marys - this year and into the next - would never materialize.

My wife is a Master Gardener and the master of improvisation.  Taking some old tomato cages from her potting shed, yards of plastic sheeting, duck tape, rocks and porch furniture she single-handedly saved our bacon.  As in  BLT.   All in the midst of angry gathering winds, pelting rain and an occasional lighting bolt.

Check this out...

Not a single plant was lost.

Perfect German beer radishes.  And fresh spinach salads are happening...

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