THE GREEN, HORNED INCURSION

DAY 42, JUNE 12, 2018

As I made coffee my first day home from vacation, I stood over the sink admiring the many ripening tomatoes and abundant greenery; I can see my raised bed garden from the kitchen window.  My husband came in and gave me the bad news.  They were back!  We were under attack!  I slipped on my shoes and went out to inspect.  Sure enough, the tomato plants were being stripped of leaves, ravaged.  I followed the trails of poop up the stalks looking for the culprit(s).  I recognized the damage and knew what I was in for.  Fortunately, I arrived home in time to avoid the total carnage.  These giant, green, horned, freaking scary creatures were eating my plants at an incredibly rapid pace.

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They had to be dealt with immediately.  You have to pry them off the stalks or better yet, get someone brave enough to pull them off for you.  It takes time to locate them, they are masters of camouflage.  You have to get right up into the plants, follow the stalks, the stems, and look under leaves.  After several minutes of this intense hunting, I still hadn’t found one. I poked my head deeper into the plant.  As Julia Roberts would say, BIG MISTAKE!  BIG.  I turned my eye slightly and realized I was so close to this giant creature if I moved slightly to the left my cheek would actually touch it.  I let out a loud screech, backed up and ran into the house to get my husband.  He was occupied and couldn’t be disturbed.  The thing was eating my plant; I had to act.  I gathered my courage, put on my gloves, got a stick and spade, and prepared for battle.  I found three.  I think I found all of them.  I will keep checking. I will become obsessed with checking.

Fortunately, they do not eat the tomatoes and I picked quite a few:

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I love my husband’s simple tomato salad.  Recipe below:

Cut tomatoes into bite-sized wedges

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Add to a bowl with olive oil, how much depends on how many tomatoes.  This bounty made a large bowl so I used about a quarter of a cup.  I added half of a medium chopped onion just for flavor, three tablespoons of chopped basil (fresh from my garden), a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar.  Mix gently then add salt and pepper.  Hard to say how much, add a little, try it and add more to your preference. I like a lot of both.   Let it sit covered in the refrigerator for an hour or longer and serve chilled.  It’s a thing of beauty.  Experiment, add avocado, add cucumbers, go crazy!  Share with friends.

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Quote for salad makers:  Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad. Brian O’Driscoll

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