One of the many things that I wanted to get done before our little trip to Tuscany, was some major work in the tomato patches - and with the help of Tom and Rebecca we did it!
I still hadn't staked the tomatoes, which were growing too big and were in danger of snapping off, because I didn't have enough canes - the ones I'd used for a decade had become too brittle. It was a collaborative effort: Tom went in the thick, ant-infested bamboo jungle nearby with the pruning saw, Rebecca carried the bamboo canes to a clearing, and I watched, gave useful advice, and took photos. Isn't this how collaboration works? Actually, I took photos, watched, gave advice and clipped off the side twigs. Basically, I multi-tasked.
(Italian farmer in a refashioned pregnancy dress working in the garden
in the middle of nowhere, rural Italy)
Now I could finally stake those poor tomato plants, a job that I look forward to each year. Building those solid structures with canes and rope must bring out the girl scout out in me.
At this point, all we need is tomatoes - hopefully my experimenting with companion plants will yield a large and healthy crop. One of the tomato patches, in fact, is next to beneficial flowers: marigolds (which I planted) and self-sowed borage. I intercropped the second with two Mediterranean diet foods: hot peppers and basil. I'm very curious to see what's going to happen. Grow tomatoes, grow!