Archive for the ‘tomatoes’ Tag

01/02/2022 Future Predictions   Leave a comment

It would be a wonderful thing to have the ability to predict the future. I’m not one to predict anything because my range of knowledge on many things is severely lacking. In the past I’ve taken the lead from science fiction writers whose ability to predict many future things is scary and all too accurate. These following seven items from Time magazine are a little bizarre and show that any of us can make ridiculous predictions and be as wrong as everyone else has been.

In 1992, TIME magazine offered up an article predicting what to expect in the new millennium. Lance Morrow, a writer, quoting political scientist Michael Barkun, wrote, “The human mind abhors a vacuum … Where certainties are absent, we make do with probabilities, and where probabilities are beyond our power to calculate, we seek refuge from insupportable ignorance in a future of our own imagining.” Here is a roundup of some of the looniest predictions since the advent of TIME — the magazine, not the concept — in 1923:

  • The future human will be a Cyclops. “In distant centuries or millenaries man will be a Cyclops, a Polyphemus, a being with one eye only.” So said Dr. Thomas Hall Shastid in a 1933 article.” This future eye, explained Shastid, would be in the center of the face, below a high forehead, where the bridge of the nose once rested.
  • Grandchildren of the television age won’t be able to read.  TIME addressed the potential downsides of a newly television-obsessed culture. “By the 21st Century our people doubtless will be squint-eyed, hunchbacked and fond of the dark,” the writer predicted. “But why am I carrying on like this? Chances are that the grandchild of the Television Age won’t know how to read this.”
  • Every medical malady will be treatable with a miracle pill. 
  • “Frogmen” will live in underseas bunkers and tend to kelp farms. One way to address food shortages of the future, according to the RAND Corp. in 1966: imagined that “Huge fields of kelp and other kinds of seaweed will be tended by undersea ‘farmers’ — frogmen who will live for months at a time in submerged bunkhouses.”
  • Spouses will be able to secretly control one another’s moods with “grouch pills”. RAND predicted that if one spouse is in a particularly cantankerous mood, his or her partner, “will be able to pop down to the corner drugstore, buy some anti-grouch pills, and slip them into the coffee.”
  • Tomatoes will be square. The mechanization of agriculture during the middle decades of the 20th century will drastically change the face of farming. “Another phenomenon in the not-too-distant future,” envisioned the Research and Development Chief at Deere & Co., “is square tomatoes, which, after all, could be more easily packaged by machine — and fit better in sandwiches.”
  • We will be able to feel and smell whatever’s on our television sets. According to Nicholas Negroponte, then director of M.I.T.’s Media Lab, the 21st century will bring “full-color, large-scale, holographic TV with force feedback and olfactory output.” The images on your TV, in other words, will be feelable and smellable.

It boggles the mind that trustworthy publications and think-tanks would dare to put these crazy ideas into print. I suppose some people insist on getting their names and ideas out there for the public to ponder over. Any publicity is good publicity and helps them to attain their 15 minutes of fame.


05-08-2016 Journal–1st Garden Plantings   Leave a comment

Even though the nights remain cool it would appear that Mother Nature is beginning to cooperate.  The hard frosts have stopped and the temperatures have been well above freezing at night.  It’s time to get busy planting a few items that aren’t effected as much by the cooler temperatures. As you can see here the rhubarb could care less about the weather. It’s up and going strong.


With that in mind I purchased two more small rhubarb plants to fill in the frame a little. You just can’t have enough rhubarb because regardless of what you use it for . . . it’s delicious.


The herb garden is coming along nicely but I lost a few plants over the winter. I’m not sure why but two of them had been around for years and I hated to see them go.  Nothing I can do but replace them.


These items were planted next. Three parsley plants, three lavenders, and two spinach.



As you look at the photo’s you can see chives growing damn near everywhere. Regardless of the weather you can’t seem to slow them down much. We’ll have bushels to harvest once again this year.


It just felt so good to be digging around in the dirt for a few minutes. Next week I’ll be heading to our local nursery to pick up some lettuces and any thing else that catches my eye. I try to be guided by what the nurseryman advises when it comes to early plantings.  I’ve paid a serious price in years past by not listening to him.  The hot peppers and tomatoes will have to wait a few more weeks when the danger of frost is completely gone.


05-20-2015 Journal–Time for Planting!   Leave a comment


It appears that the weather will finally permit me to get back into the garden.  I’ve been monitoring the long-range weather forecast for a week and it looks as if the chances of a hard frost are behind us.   Most of the night time temperatures for the next two weeks are in the high forties and low to mid-fifties.  Today is the day that the majority of the garden will be planted.


I’ve had a lot of plants in my cold frames for more than a week letting them get accustomed to the weather and cooler temperatures.  I collected my three dozen hard boiled eggs, a bag of fertilizer, and headed to the garden.


Dig a five inch deep hole, drop in an egg, crush the top, drop in a little fertilizer, and set the plant in place.  Do it about ten more times and you have a nice patch of jalapenos peppers  to harvest later in the Summer.


Next came the cherry tomato plants. I decided to double the number of plants from last year because we eat so much salad during the Summer months. We came up a little short last year and I don’t want that happening again. What good is a salad without tomatoes.


I planted the zucchini, yellow squash, and kohlrabi’s next but ran out of eggs.  I plan on picking up more eggs tonight and tomorrow I can plant all of the remaining cucumber plants.  Twenty minutes of sprinkling completes the planting for today. Hopefully we’ll get some rain in the next few days or I’ll be running the sprinklers again.


I was a little surprised to find that I had two areas in the frames where I could add some miscellaneous plants.  The better-half and I will decide what else we need and have them planted over the weekend.  My goal was to have everything planted before the end of the Memorial Day weekend and we’re right on schedule for a change.

09-14-2013   Leave a comment

It’s time today for a little catch-up on my journal.  In just a few short weeks the Maine weather has gone from extreme heat and humidity to extreme cold and a couple of nights with a fear of frost.  It’s a little early for this temperature change but you have no choice but to adjust. 

I spent a few hours yesterday beginning the process of clearing plants from the garden for removal to the compost pile.  I was surprised by how many cucumbers and cherry tomatoes I was able to salvage.  I ended up with almost a dozen good sized cucumbers that were hidden amongst the plants and a at least a hundred cherry tomatoes that were still green but will ripen over the next week or so.  It’s never fun taking the garden down at the end of the season but it has to be done and can require a large time investment.

I removed the sprinkler systems and the hoses and all of the hot pepper and squash plants.  I left the beans, lettuce, and snap peas alone because they don’t mind the cold weather too much and are are still producing.  Another week or so and they’ll be gone too.

The leaves are falling from the trees already and you can’t walk through the yard without running into squirrels and chipmunks with their mouths stuffed with nuts and acorns. They aren’t even running from us anymore.  Their primary interest right now is to store away as much as they can as quickly as they can.  Funny, that’s exactly the same thing my better-half and I are doing as well.

Once all of the plant material has been removed from the frames I can begin the soil preparation for next year.  I’ll first rototill the ground and then cover the entire garden with three or four inches of compost.  Then I’ll spread a little lime into the soil with a generic fertilizer, rototill it a second time and call it a day.  I’ll let it set all winter and in the spring it should be ready to go. I’m hoping to have everything finished by the end of September so I won’t get surprised by good old Mother Nature who loves nothing more than dropping an early snow storm on us.

We spent some time the other night discussing changes to next years garden and the choice of items we plan on planting.  It’s an ever-changing process as we learn more about the plants and the amount of production we can expect.  It’s all of this prep work that makes the garden a success year after year and  it’s time well spent and worth the effort.

05-10-2013   Leave a comment

Our fear of snow and frost has finally past and I can get on with our Spring and Summer plans.  I’ve been sun burned once already and now I’m taking extra steps to be a little more careful. With the remodel in the house completed I can now center all of my attention to the yard and garden.

I visited a friend yesterday who lives nearby and owns a small nursery.  He is a supplier of plants to many of the local and larger nurseries in southern Maine.  He’s been very helpful over the years in educating me on growing plants in this State.  I decided to shop around a little because every year he offers plants for sale that many others in the area do not.

I started looking through his new greenhouses and I couldn’t stop myself from loading up on plants.  I have a fairly large cold frame at home and I purchased enough plants to completely fill it and then some.  I filled my car with hot peppers, pickling cucumbers, squash, zucchini, and mustard plants.  It was an excellent start for the season.  I also purchased seedlings of three types of lettuce, spinach, and a couple cherry tomato plants.  I’ll be planting the cold resistant plants today but waiting another week before  starting anything else.  The weather here can be weird at times with unannounced frost occurring well into May.  I’ve been burned before so I won’t let it happen again.

Every garden has issues and mine is no different.  I’ve been trying for years to grow big, fat, and red tomatoes with absolutely no luck.  We instead plant the cherry tomatoes which always thrive in the same damn soil.  I had the soil tested and added whatever was needed to get it balanced properly and still no success.  I love making my homemade pasta sauces and salsas but it’s always much better when made with freshly grown tomatoes.

I finished construction of a new type of trellis for my beans.  I’m planting both red and yellow climbing beans which should completely fill this trellis in no time.  We always do well with them and eat those beans all winter long.  There is nothing better  to eat on a cold February night.

I’ll be looking for some kale seedlings in the next few day as well.  Our harvest of kale last summer made our winter soups pretty damn tasty.  I just wash it, blanch it and the freeze it.  I like it almost as well as frozen spinach and I’m hoping I’ll have the same success as in the past.

My better-half is obsessed with sun flowers and required me to set aside an area in the garden for them.  She usually plants a large variety of sizes and colors including the mammoth plants that can get 10 to 12 feet tall.  At the end of the season we allow the heads to dry and they feed hundreds of birds for a few weeks.

Well, the plants have been transferred into the cold frame to await a warmer week. I installed my simple but effective sprinkler system which should keep all of the plants well watered and healthy.  Now all I have to worry about are Mother Natures little helpers.  Deer, rabbits, squirrels, horn worms, and all of natures other little inconveniences that make gardening such a challenge.

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