gardening,  the sticks,  The Zoo,  Tis the Season

You say tomato, I say, Would you like some?

so many tomatoes!

As you can see (by my banner and all these pictures) we are in full tomato production out here in the sticks. Tis the season! I’m surprised I haven’t turned red, I’ve been eating so many.

breakfast, lunch and dinner

For breakfast I have a bagel with cream cheese and a giant slice of tomato and then a slice of muenster cheese on top. It’s soooo delicious. I could and do eat this every day.

tis the season

Then I have a tomato sandwich for lunch. Pretty much the same thing as breakfast just minus the cream cheese and bread instead of a bagel. Mmmmmmm….I can’t believe I’m not sick of this yet.

I have them for dinner a lot too. I should post a picture here of some delicious spaghetti I’ve made with fresh tomatoes but I haven’t figured that out yet. My mom has convinced me that it is easy but I’ve yet to try it. One of these days…

tomato production

My mom canned a lot (this is only half of them) so I can make spaghetti with them even easier. It’s going to save me so much money this winter. Well, maybe not. It’s not like jars of spaghetti sauce were breaking my budget but it does make me feel super frugal and less wasteful when I see all these jars lined up so nicely in my pantry.


Tomato plants are a pretty good investment, especially if you count the water bill as therapy. Yes, I water my garden to calm my nerves. You should try it. Now you know the secret to my green thumb.





morning harvest



We’ve got them coming out our ears.

There’s only one problem.

exibit A

Somebody else likes my tomatoes.

exibit B

Somebody who doesn’t even bother to pick them.

exhibit c

They just walk by and take a big ol’ bite out of a slew of them in the middle of the night when nobody’s looking. And then they just leave them there to rot. How rude!!!


I’m talking to you Mr. Possum! You might look cute and cuddly but YOU ARE NOT!!! You are a snarling, growling, evil tomato-eating menace.

evil tomato-eating possum

Even Holly is afraid of these guys. We camped outside the other night and I thought sure that Holly would finally catch one, she barked enough. But no. Apparently Holly is a big wuss dog. Though that might be a good thing because I really don’t want to take her to the vet to get possum teeth removed from her nose. Have you heard possums growl in the dark? They are scary!!!

So does anyone know how to get rid of possums? I’ll pay you in tomatoes.

* * *

In other news: Please check out my review for REI.

Brenda and Bug do REI

We had so much fun with them!


  • Sharon

    I am so jealous of your tomatoes. My dad’s garden shriveled up into nothing. It’s been so hot here. Even though he watered it faithfully. I am determined to plant my very own garden next spring.

  • Madge

    BB Gun? Bear trap? I’m not sure how to get rid of an opossum. My parents had one that would frequently visit them in the backyard. He seemed to be attracted to cigarette smoke. Maybe a box crate trap with a smoking cigarette in it? This are all horrible ideas, don’t mind me.

    Watering the garden IS therapeutic. Until the 4 year old wants to “do it muhself!!” Then it’s just wet and annoying.

    Which REI did you go to? I almost took Fish there this weekend looking for more Klean Kanteens.

  • SAJ

    It’s in Tustin. Not where it used to be. They moved over by Jamboree and the 5 where the old Ikea used to be.

    smoking cigarette trap… you crack me up.

  • Mrs. Wilson

    I love tomato sandwiches. Those look delicious. I put a little salt and pepper on mine as well.

    I have no cure for possums, except to maybe put chicken wire around your tomatoes? I’m so not a gardener, but I think I saw that somewhere.

  • Melissa K. in Nebraska

    I had some tomato jam on a bagel with avocado slices recently. I died! I’d never had it before and am dying to try to make it.

    Ick! Possums! Sometimes vets (“in the sticks” areas) will loan out a critter trap and then you can give the possum(s) to wildlife animal control who will release them into the wild.

  • michelle

    I didn’t plant tomatoes this year, but I have the past several years…I am so jealous of your tomatoes! For some reason I never have good luck with them. You must have the magic green thumb!!

  • Katie

    HAHAHA pay you in tomatoes, that’s hilarious. I love to make toast (butter it) and then put some chopped up or sliced tomatoes w/ salt and pepper and then mozzarella and parm cheese and then broil it to melt the cheese YUMMMM. Well now I wish I had some tomatoes… lol

  • gramma

    According to your Dad…mothballs will keep away unwanted critters…they just don’t like the smell! That’s how we coaxed the skunk out of our garage, peasibly.

  • a chris

    Oh, cool. I’m a huge fan of MEC in Canada but I’ve never seen what REI looks like inside.

    I haven’t had a real, fresh, garden-grown tomato in a long time. Apples we do have, though.

  • Lisa

    I love tomatoes! They are probably my favorite vegetable (fruit?). Here are a few more ideas of how to use them up. Layer fresh mozzarella, tomato and fresh basil, then sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper (and balsamic vinegar if you want to change it up). So yummy for an appetizer! Probably my favorite thing to do when I have lots of tomatoes is to cut them up in chunks, add some olive oil and salt and pepper and roast at 350 until they’re reduced to at least half the size. The flavor is AMAZING and I even like it when they get a little blackened. And lastly, here’s a recipe that I tried once and really liked but haven’t had enough fresh tomatoes to make again.
    So jealous of your tomato bounty!

  • gingermog

    Send your green thumb on holiday over here, I got the grand total of six tomatoes so far from my two plants ( the other two died) in my little urban farm. I blame the lack of sun in my small courtyard. Ah well. I was very proud of the salad I made them into. Your row of canned tomatoes look very pretty and wholesome. Yeh for your mom. Have you ever tried making stuffed tomatoes?

  • kat

    wow that is a LOT of tomatoes! i like to make tomato jam – a little sweet/spicy on a toasted piece of bread with cream cheese or goat cheese. YUMMY. that or gazpacho!

  • Kari

    I LOVE tomato sandwiches. LOVE. They are one of my all time favorite things to eat. I could eat them every day…

    My Dad had half eaten and missing tomato problems problems a couple of years ago and assumed it was deer or opossum getting into the tomatoes. Long story short, the neighbor’s chocolate lab was eating the tomatoes right off the plants. My Dad couldn’t figure out where the tomatoes were going, and the neighbor couldn’t figure where the dogs was getting into tomatoes. Haha!

  • Ninabi

    Watering the garden is so good for what ails you. We had created a garden back in Colorado that kept me sane when all around me things were just awful. It wasn’t big, but it was packed full of flowers and fruit and herbs and I could go in there and sit and look around at the one thing that was going right- all the plants I had nurtured.

    Now I am living in the desert and quite envious of your tomato harvest. Something from the desert came and stripped the plants bare in the four days I was out of town. Big green nude stems. No leaves. No flowers. No tomatoes. It is very sad.

    My goodness your mom is talented! Canned tomatoes glow like jewels. Glad you had a good harvest. As for the possum, is there a place you can rent a live trap so you can catch him and move him somewhere else?

  • Chen

    I haven’t had much luck with the bigger variety of tomatoes this year but I have cherry and grape tomatoes coming out of my ears. I’m tomatoed out. I don’t have possum problems. However, I have a small dachshund that loves to help himself to what he can reach.

  • amy

    I agree! Gorgeous tomatoes!

    You can always bag them and throw them in the freezer if they are overwhelming you. Great for tossing in tomato sauces (which you seem to have plenty of!) as well as chilies etc. If you can get your hands on a dehydrator (hubby got one free off craigslist, score.) they are yummy dried.

    Going to have to have a tomato sandwich tomorrow yours look so yummy! Won’t taste as good though I am sure, ours not red yet.

    No idea on the possums and getting rid of them. We had one or two hanging out in our yard for a bit last summer creating huge night time frenzy’s with out dogs. Those things are scary looking and probably as big as my biggest dog! Always worried the possum would hurt my guys so would begin the rounding up of the barking insanely dogs. Rotters! (The possums, not my dogs ;)

  • Ashley

    We love tomato season around here! It’s all about canning tomatoes, salsa, spaghetti sauce, tomato juice and tomato soup! It’s a week long event, it’s hot sticky and messy but it’s delish. My only complaint – by the end of the week my mouth is riddled with canker sores due to all the munching on tomatoes. :)

  • Kuky

    Wow I would love to be able to grow tomatoes. Well…to grow anything.

    Alan tried growing tomatoes. It was some fancy hydroponics thing. I think that’s what it was called. The plant was sitting in water, with a grow light. It was growing really big and tall and then he tried to transplant it into dirt outside. The sun just withered it up into this sad little dead thing.

  • TexasLea

    Yum, Yum! I LOVE home grown tomatoes. I like to just cut them into wedges and eat them with a little salt on them.
    As for the garden visitor, check to see if your local animal shelter has live traps available for public use. If they do, get one and bait it with dog food. You can also use canned mackrel as opossums love fish, but that often attracts cats and Aqui is not who you want to trap. Regular dry dog food works too. Bait the trap and set in the garden near the tomatoes and I bet you catch your furry gardener. Here, our animal control officers will come out and remove the unwanted critter from the trap once you have it. I hope it works that way there too.
    If this suggestion works out, I’ll take a big ‘ol bowl of those little yellow bell tomatoes and a couple of green slicers to fry for payment please. ;)

  • Lisa

    I too have a possom problem. After much research I decided to let them be. They don’t carry rabies?! Are scared of children and pets and don’t leave messes. Plus, they chased off the cute adorable racoons that were opening my trash cans and DO carry rabies. I don’t have a garden though.

  • Renee

    Hello, I was meandering through Journey Mama’s links and couldn’t resist a good tomato post. I looove tomatoes, I love to cook them down and make sauces out of them or do like you do and slice them onto sandwiches with cheese, or eat them just plain, they are sooo good.

  • Donna

    Oh! We have one of those tomato eating menaces too! We only have two plants, so Brad built a frame with chicken wire to go over them. Hopefully it will do the trick! Your tomatoes look wonderful! Hope ours turn out as good. We got a late start so they’re just blossoming.

  • amy

    I was reading over at Bitchypoo that she picks her tomatoes when they just have the slightest red tinge in a spot. Lets them ripen indoors. I guess she was having pest problems too :(

  • grandma sue

    Those tomatoes, even with the critters, have made many sandwiches, fresh salsa, 18 quarts of canned tomatoes and now 27 pints of canned salsa and they are still producing! SAJ does have a green thumb or at least the plants know they are therapy.

  • Heather

    One time I had a possum in my garage. I trapped him in the cat carrier then let him go in the woods after dark.

  • bethany actually

    I have no ideas about possums and you know how I feel about tomato sandwiches. But I am jealous of all your beautiful canned tomatoes. None of which should be entrusted to me if I’m going to fly anywhere because apparently I cannot remember the rules about liquids in carryons. *Sob!* I’m still sad about the apricot preserves.

  • BeachMama

    Oh those are beautiful tomatoes! And what a bounty. I didn’t plant anything this year because we started our summer off with an outdoor watering ban so it would have been such a waste. Wish I could help you with your possums, Mickey (our husky) won’t even catch the rabbits so I doubt he would be any good with the possums.

  • Auntie Keren

    Gramma and I had a fabulous Chicken Cacciatore last night with some of your yellow tomatoes, slightly puree’d. They were getting shrivelly, but I just knew there was flavor still in them. So sweet! We added chopped onion, red bell pepper, and lots and lots of garlic! YUM

  • ioi

    your tomato prduction is beautiful! We planted 10 plants this year and we’ve gotten 2 (TWO) whole tomatoes off of them so far! It’s so discouraging. There are a few more slowing ripening, but I was expecting to get tomatoes out my ears like we did a couple years ago. Maybe it has something to do with our very mild and slow to arrive summer this year.

  • mari

    Looks like you’ve gotten some great ideas and advice on the possums. Mothballs do work; they smell awful and they’re quite toxic and even dumb-dumbs like possums get the message when you drop a few of those around. It’s important to know where they come in so you can drop the balls there and at a decent distance from the plants. Tomatoes: yum. Possums: EEeeewwwwww.

  • gingermog

    Are you still drowning in tomatoes? Your first two pictures remind me of the days when I used to live off cheese and tomato sandwiches, sometimes 3 times a day! At the moment I only have one single tomato growing in my garden, but it’s immense for a miniature cherry tomato plant (!). Almost like the plant is concentrating on producing one great, perfect tomato of vast size, before the end of Summer. Hope I get to it before the birds.

  • The Phantom Moon

    Ugh, I feel your pain. The pesky critters in my garden are gobbling them up too and leaving the rest of the ruined beauties on the vine … it looks like you’ve had a great harvest though otherwise which is good!

    And fresh tomatoes with pasta is delicious … just cut up some fresh tomatoes, toss with olive oil, fresh chopped basil and a little bit of salt and pepper. When your pasta (spaghetti works great) is ready, mix them up together and it’s win win on a weeknight! :)