Let’s call the whole thing off

Here is my first tomato.  I have officially won the yearly competition to produce a tomato before the 4th of July.  A little tomato to be sure. But still the promise of more to come.

How to grow a winning tomato?

  1. Allow any size in the competition.
  2. Grow in a very sheltered flower garden at the bottom of the front steps.
  3. This plant was a volunteer so it is hardy and acclimatised to the area.
  4. Piles of good compost and lots of water.
  5.  Egg shells and coffee. (The plunger is often emptied right under the hydrangea next to this tomato).


The little tomato rolled off the chopping block and onto the floor while being prepared but I applied the 3 second rule, nabbed it and ate it anyway. And as you can see my floor is not the cleanest of floors.  But never mind.  It was VERY tasty.  (the tomato not the floor)  I know I should have shared it but there you are.  There are many, many more on the way – all the tomato plants are either fruiting or flowering.

You may say Tomayto and I say Tomahto but the competition is now officially called off. I WON for the first time.


The fencing is almost done and in this heat one would imagine that a quick dip in the pool would be in order but sadly the pool has sprung a leak while being refilled after the spring clean.  So as not to waste the water we are siphoning it off into the vegetable gardens (there were no chemicals in the pool yet) . Once it is empty Our John will have a look to see if he can find the leak. Though I fear that will be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

However until then the cucumbers  and courgettes will be well watered and cucumbers like a lot of water.

It is raining again this morning. Yesterday morning we woke to rain too. Perfect timing.  Rain at dawn.

I hope you have a lovely day.


PS. On a side note the song: The 30’s Gershwin song – Lets Call the Whole Thing Off, was as much about regional pronunciations as class distinctions.

Leaving me a very classy dame indeed, darling:

Read on –

Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off is a song written by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin for the 1937 film Shall We Dance, where it was introduced by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers as part of a celebrated dance duet on roller skates.[1] The song is most famous for its “You like to-may-toes /təˈmtz/ and I like to-mah-toes /təˈmɑːtz/” and other verses comparing their different regional dialects.[2]

The differences in pronunciation are not simply regional, however, but serve more specifically to identify class differences. At the time, typical American pronunciations were considered less “refined” by the upper-class, and there was a specific emphasis on the “broader” a sound.[3] This class distinction with respect to pronunciation has been retained in caricatures, especially in the theater, where the longer a pronunciation is most strongly associated with the word “darling.”[4]




43 Comments on “Let’s call the whole thing off

  1. Oh good, I can relax now that the competition is over! 😁 A ripe tomato before July 4th ? Unheard of!
    We have tons of green tomatoes, but no hot weather to ripen them! No fear, hot weather is due next week!

  2. Good morning! If you still have water in the pool and it’s not too dark to see to the bottom, the easiest way to find a leak is to fill an eye dropper with food coloring and gently squeeze it out into the water. Once you get close to the leak, you’ll quickly see exactly where it is as the colored water gets sucked to the hole.

  3. Location, location, location, as the realtors say. Down here at 29N, I’ve been picking tomatoes for a month out at my local you-pick-’em farm. The blackberries and peaches are gone, but the blackeyed peas, cream peas, zucchini, pattipan, and yellow squash are rolling in. They’re open again today, post rain, so I’ll see how the figs are doing, pluck some more tomatoes, and hope your babies ripen quickly!

  4. Congratulations!!!
    My tomato plants do not even have any green tomatoes yet, not going to do well this year. Way too wet and cool. I am going to try the coffee grinds and egg shells, I had not heard of that before.

    • Since I switched from coffee (no more grounds) to tea, i dry out, cut up & empty my tea bags under the roses & hydrangeas & when I get too bored with that I just toss the damp tea bags & let them compost themselves. Crush up eggshells & surround any plants the slugs favor. They won’t slide over them!

  5. Just back from visiting family in good old blighty – and I had to remember to say Tomahto again along with lots of other ‘Americaisms’ I have picked up and got my leg pulled over! LOL

  6. What a gorgeous little colour and flavour bomb! I don’t blame you at all for taking your tasty reward. My tomatoes (if I get any in this year) will start probably in September/October. I would have come *very* late to this competition 🙂

  7. congratulations on being the Winner of the 2016 competition for the first tomata.( thats my new way of spelling it).I have not yet heard it announced on World Tv but maybe its Worlds best kept secret xxxx

  8. I’ll do you one better. Around here, a lot of people call them ‘maters.

    I do love home grown tomatoes. I can’t eat store-bought, greenhouse reddened tomatoes anymore. Not now that I know what the real fruit tastes like – heaven.

  9. Coffee and egg shells coming right up for my 2 mater plants. So far the hydrangea’s and azalea plants have been the beneficiaries of my grounds and the shells have gone everywhere to slow the slugs. Doesn’t work. 😦 I’m off to a slow start here so I would compete with no one. I’ll be happy to see a tomahto at all. 🙂 Sorry to hear about the pool. We will get in the 90’s again next week. 47 degrees right now. No pools allowed so I’m in and out of the shower all day to stay cool. Glad you are able to make good use of the water.

  10. Congratulations! I had no idea there was a competition, so maybe that is how you win something – create a challenge but don’t tell anyone. 😉 June tomatoes are not that uncommon in Texas as we have very warm May’s usually. (Speaking of WARM – we are dancing around 99 on Friday according to the forecast) And I absolutely love Gershwin. Rhapsody in Blue is my favorite but there are so many others I love too. I’ve Got a Crush on You, Someone to Watch over Me, Summertime…..

  11. We apply the 5 second rule, not 3. I can’t reach down that fast to retrieve food from the floor. So far, no harmful effects. Some day, it may become the 8, 10, or 30 second rule.

    • Jim, We have always used 10 seconds. I think that allows for a brief floor scan just to make sure nothing to horrendous is near the dropped food and then one can feel relatively safe about picking it up and eating it 🙂

  12. We have two immigrant tomato plants whose origins we know not. But they are ages away from producing any fruit.
    As for tomayto/tomahto, my son-in-law gets in a right snit when I say cahstle instead of cassle! That’s a case of the North/South divide in Englad.

  13. Newcomer to your blog. It looks great. We also flex the 3 second rule depending on what has been dropped. If our daughter drops chocolate cake, it will never get wasted!

  14. Beautiful little jewel of a tomato. Nothing tastes better than a tomato warm from the sun bursting between your teeth. All the garden produce will be delicious. Hope your leak is discovered. In the meantime, run through the sprinkler!

  15. Ha ha – tomatoes do grow in dirt, so a dirty floor is just like going back to where it came from. I’ve heard people (several times) ask the farmer at the farmers’ market if he has any washed potatoes. I always thought that the dirt on vegetables at the market adds a bit of authenticity. Incidentally, Martin (the farmer) grows some fantastic tasty tomatoes which he claims taste better for growing in the dirt, as opposed to bags of compost.

  16. Fantastic!! I’m here way down in central Texas waiting for ours to turn red. I have three on my Heirloom and three on my beefstake and a bunch on my sun gold, and they’re all about four feet tall, but none of them are turning color! I think it’s been all this rain. We’ve had so much of it without any sun. We’re finally getting sun and heat so I’m hoping to see some red. Now, to help my fungus-y peppers :(.

  17. I think your floor is lovely, just as it is. I had a camp counselor once who assured me that it was VERY important to eat a good amount of dirt along the way, to ward off the really bad stuff. So eating off the floor is just sort of a vaccination in my book. (Italians are horrified by dirt. Funny.)

  18. i love your field. Fills me with so much hope that there will be food to sustain life.
    Bless you and your likes for feeding the rest of the world.

  19. Oh, about dirt…I think it is ok to ingest some dirt, the body needs that challenge to keep its defences shipshape. I feel that America is way too antiseptic, and American children have no resistance to any germs whatsoever. (No offence I have lived in America and am now back in my home country, India, which is dirty to the core, but our immune system is unbeatable 🙂

  20. Congrats on finally winning the ‘Tomato Competition”!!! I know that Our John is a master tomato grower, and has won it forever. Hope he’s not feeling too forlorn! And I sure to get it about being the one to feast on it…after all, you won! The unwritten rule in the morning, especially when the berries are just coming on, is whoever sees the ripe berry can pick and eat it! Our strawberries are finished, but our blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are coming on! 🙂

  21. Aww no, now I will have to have another question ready for 4 July 😦 Congratulations on being first time winner, hope the Matriarch and Our John were good losers. Of course the prize was all yours – deservedly 🙂 Laura

  22. Nana, my maternal grandmother who lived with us, always called tomatoes “love apples”. I wasn’t sure if the tomatoes in the store were love apples or not as a kid, since learned they are. They were grown as an ornamental garden plant when first brought to Europe as they are a member of the nightshade family (as are potatoes), and were considered poisonous (how sad). Too much disruption this year to get any love apple plants for the containers.

  23. I have flowers on my tomahtoes and some have tiny tiny fruit swellings…perhaps that counts for 2nd prize since it’s mid-winter here in the opposite hemisphere? Mine get planted with crushed up eggshells in the hole, lots of animal manure and a good handful of rock minerals.

  24. Amazing we just harvested the last of the ripe summer [volunteer tomatoes] 3 weeks into winter, pulling the green remainders into tge ground, before setting off on our trip. With your eggshells & coffee grounds tip we’ll have plenty later on in the year.

  25. CELI HALP! I keep getting kicked off the list. It says I am following, but nuttin’ shows up in my inbox. Feeling forlorn. Much love, Your lonesome Gayle.

  26. So on this side of the globe, and being cool temperate/mountain zone, it’s uncommon for me to pick tomatoes before New Year. It’s a while since I’ve tasted a ‘real’ tomato (the grocery store ones are red but hard and crispy) so I’ll just sit here and drool while you enjoy it 😕

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