Those were good times! And these are better times.

That’s something I’ve been known to say at the conclusion of a reminiscing session. A few nights before Metal Pig and I got married, we were out with our friends and wedding party, and one of our friends started jotting down notes on a cocktail napkin. She wrote what she would end up reading at the reception from that napkin, closing with that quote. Here are some examples of good times and better times:

  Good times: finding a redneck bar in Santa Fe and dancing to Lynard Skynard covers

  Better times: taking 8-year-old EG to his first rock show, outdoors in the summer; it was Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and we played football in the field near the stage

Good times: being 20-something, almost skinny, and looking good (or thinking I looked good) in plaid flannel, playing Soundgarden CDs

Better times: doing a load of plaids in my HE washing machine, including the same old flannel shirt that still fits, telling Amazon Echo to play the station Soundgarden

  Good times: planting a few unusual heirloom tomatoes to see if they’d grow, baby and cat following me around in the garden

  Better times: specializing in growing weird (and not so weird) heirloom vegetables, tripling the size of my now fenced garden, although I miss the old kitty.

My 13-year-old dog Pixie, who is brilliant and flexible, sliding sideways under the garden fence to swipe green beans:

What is ripe this week, clockwise from big yellow tomato: Great White (it’s actually lemon yellow), Pink Brandywine, Golden King of Siberia, Old Italian, Speckled Roman (actually a striped tomato with a cute little blossom-end tail, or nipple, depending on how your mind works)

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Last month I excised what looked like a blight on a Lucid Gem and the Brandywine the monster above grew from. I also gave them a little liquid fert made without animals and they rallied. I had low expectations but there’s new growth, blossoms and fruit.

Cat-facing is an issue for a little of the fruit, which I attribute to our drought/flood/drought pattern this summer when the plants set fruit.

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I will eat those anyway, they just have less edible fruit because of the woody scar. Most tomatoes right now don’t have the issue. These will be, ironically, what you might call meaty:

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Author: Fire Horse

I live in Colorado with my husband Metal Pig, our son Evil Genius ("EG") and, for some reason, two Dalmatianesque dogs. One of my dreams is to show a respectable return on the investment I put into growing food in our suburban yard. We love plants but eat them too. I use grandiose terms when describing my garden, like "crops" and "nitrogen levels" but it's too small to be a farm. Maybe one day I'll hitch a miniature horse to a tiny plow and take out the turf grass in the front yard to make room for growing grains.

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