Zapotec pleated romato from Oaxaca, raised from seed!

Is Althaea rosa nigra, aka hollyhock edible? Thompson and Morgan says so.

Zapotec tomato, take two.

Teeny weeny cucumbers



For many years my friend Margaret and her husband have tried to outsmart the deer who feast on the contents of their vegetable garden. It seems that short of erecting a 10′ tall electric fence nothing would deter Margaret’s unwelcome guests from eating whatever she chose to plant. I sympathized with her plight, saying a praer of thanks for circumstances–longer distance from the Potomac, less trafiic– that kept local beasties from chomping on my own plants. Sure, I had seen of deer dance across my yard–oh, how cute and utterly picturesque they seemed, the little darlings–fluffy white tails waving in the breeze. That was then. Now, Margaret has stopped gardening, even though it means paying five dollars for a tomato at the local farmer’s market and guess whose plants the darling fluffy tailed creatures are eating? Mine, dadblast them. They trim the tops of tomato plants, lop off half the sunflowers, lie on the bean vines and generally behave like utter and complete hooligans.
The good news is that deer are kosher. If I can convince a shochet to lye in ambush in my yard, Bambi is in for a little surprise. Yes, my yard is certified wildlife habitat. No, I do not begrudge the turtles the pound or two of strawberries they nibble every summer, yes, I allow the birds to guzzle the Nanking cherries and I say nothing to whatever it is that gorges on quince and gooseberries. But one has to draw the line somewhere and I draw mine at the expensive tomato plants that took so much effort to raise from seed, water and electricity being costly items hereabouts. I am flinging the glove. Let Bambi come into the garden at her own peril. I am partial to the idea of deer steaks in a wine and mushroom sauce.

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