Do not attempt to adjust your browser . . .

There is nothing wrong with your computer . . . we are controlling citymade.

This week the husbands (Jeff and Christian) will be taking over the job of posting for City Made. We don’t know why, other than that we said that we could do it or something. I have a feeling that this impulse was more likely born of a bottle of O’Dell’s 90 Shilling than desire to repurpose. I can almost remember the conversation that probably included phrases like “just as well as you can” or “it shouldn’t be that hard.” Such braggadocio invited the challenge that we find before us. To paraphrase, we control the blog for the next week. Sit back as we take you to the outer limits.

If strong fences make good neighbors, weak fences make great stakes

Allow me to paint a picture: a couple Junes ago it rained in Omaha. Not just any rain, mind you. A doozy. It spawned tornados, it tore trees out of the ground, stripped leaves off branches and shot them onto houses like a giant green confetti gun. The heavy winds, rain and hail beat our backyard to a pulp and kicked the fence down just for laughs. I’m telling you, a mean storm.

I have a bit of my mom in me in that I like to keep stuff in case said stuff should ever come in handy. I’m also a bit of my dad in that I’m not afraid of unconventional and maybe even slightly less than aesthetically elegant solutions to problems. For whatever reason, I kept the fallen fence, not really knowing how best to dispose of it and thinking that it might be of some use eventually.

That eventuality came in the form of falling tomato plants. These beefsteak tomatoes bully their cages, bending them this way and that, usually to the west as they reach for every last photon. The romas and wild cherry tomatoes do the same thing, as though inspired by their larger neighbors. Enter the fence pickets.

The fence pickets were a bit worn and weren’t very sharp to begin with. So I had to get them ready for their supporting role in the garden drama that was unfolding.

  1. I removed the individual pickets from the rails to which they were nailed. A couple nice blows with a hammer sufficed. Plus, the fence was so weathered that the nails were usually a bit loose anyway.
  2. I sharpened the top of the pickets (the better to drive into the ground) with a jigsaw. A handsaw works just fine if you want to work on toning your upper arm. I had better things to do with my time that day, though, so electric jigsaw it was.
  3. I drove three of the pickets (sharpened end into the ground, natch) with the hammer from step 1, but distributed the blows with a wood block cut from a 2 x 4. That way I didn’t tear too much into the top of the picket when hitting it.  A big wooden hammer (sorry) wood mallet might also work, but I don’t have one. I positioned them around right against the cage, trying as much as possible to match the inverted conical angle of the cage itself to provide maximum support to the cage and, thus, the tomato.

I have even split some of the pickets (with a hatchet) and tied large branches or main stems to these more slender lengths.  Since being righted, the tomatoes are doing fine, producing sweet red fruit whose appeal still strikes Ava as alien and unfathomable.

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1 Response to Do not attempt to adjust your browser . . .

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