well I'll be damned


I am not a gardener. Brian has forced me to say these words aloud this year. But every year I have grand plans and every year I try and every year something goes awry- my seedlings drown (last year), or I forget to build a little fence and my plants become gourmet salad for the neighborhood bunnies (this year).

This summer I gave up on everything except for my tomato plants and they actually, knock on wood, are good. But guess what?! I'll be damned if a few things didn't survive and aren't growing out there! So far we're watching one bell pepper, a few tiny little jalapenos and a bunch of baby cucumbers. There were even a couple green beans. And I mean two beans. Not two bean plants. But it's a start, right?! I don't really have a black thumb! It's sort of greyish-green! I have a couple questions: Can I pick my pink tomatoes a little early and let them ripen on the counter so they don't get swiped by squirrels like they usually do? Will it affect the flavor? And does anyone local know if we've got much late blight around here?

Oh, and I have one unrelated question for you. Is there such thing as a custom die punch? I've seen cute little punches at the hobby store in the scrapbooking section, but I want one made of something very specific. I can't find it online. Any ideas?