A Tramp in the (Organic) Garden

Seeds, Smack Talk and Assorted Gardening Madness in South Pasadena, Los Angeles

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Extreme Tomato Catfacing

Lord I hope nobody has a cat with a face like this! Catfacing is a catch all term for any malformation of a tomato. So many things are supposed to cause catfacing: cool and cloudy weather during flower formation, too much nitrogen in the soil, exposure to pesticides (who uses pesticides??), irregular soil moisture levels. It's most common on older varieties, and you'll see this most often with heirlooms. No biggie, just adds personality.

A friend took this photo of a insanely catfaced tomato from the Hollywood Farmer's Market for $1.00. Sweet deal! I like how he added the wine cork to show proportion. Clearly he knew he was the target market demographic he was dealing with- winos.

PS- The other day I actually harvested some tomatoes, a little unripe, to keep them from the raccoons or devilish squirrels. Common red BIG BEEF hybrids, these babies were- I'm used to growing heirlooms with all their catfacing, stitching, all their lovely idiosyncracies. Ripening on my stove counter they struck me as so odd...they were so...perfectly round, and so....red. So...bizarre...yet so...normal. The normalcy of it all was so...almost Fellini-esque?


At 25 August, 2006 09:34, Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

My first thought was, "That catfacing isn't so bad!" And then I realized that I wasn't looking at a whole pile of tomatoes, just one. Yikes! lol.

I bet it tastes delicious, though. :)

At 26 August, 2006 11:14, Blogger Loretta said...

I know, pretty crazy, huh??! It belonged to friend who was trying to pass it off (sweetly though) as one of the tomatoes his wife had grown on the fire escape. Like sculpture!

At 26 August, 2006 14:04, Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

Sculpture is right! Or like one of those folk doll old-people faces that are made out of brown nylons pulled in with stitches!

At 27 August, 2006 05:56, Blogger steven said...

Thats what vegetables must look like in China Mieville's imaginary world.

At 30 August, 2006 21:59, Blogger Loretta said...

I completely remember those old people faces from craft stores- someone needs to resurrect those! Heehee. What we all need to do is throw more drunken craft parties, I say.

And now I'm also so intrigued to check out some of China Mieville's work....perhaps these tomatoes have found a kindred spirit?


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