We have tried so many different tomato cages over the years that it's not even funny. We tried the old-fashioned wire ones that you can buy that are cone-shaped, when the tomatoes got too big it would all fall over. Then we bought some metal wire ones that were hinged and great to store, but were too lightweight and would also fall over. We tried bamboo, it would crack and fall apart. Then we finally started using scrap conduit from work from Dave, and it was tough and rugged. The problem was you couldn't really tie the tomatoes up to it or it would all slide down. Dave had the idea to just build some new wooden tomato cages. He looked around and we talked about sizes and then this weekend he bought some nice culled wood. Culled wood is wood that is warped/twisted/bent and is not sold at the normal retail price. Most places that sell it, like the big box stores, sell it 50% to 70% off! That's a huge savings. So Dave shopped around at both of the big box stores in our area and bought some pine furring strips. He used 1" x 2"s, and 1" x 4"s cut down to 1" x 2"s-
wood ready to be unloaded
They're nice and sturdy and should last quite a few years! He made about four foot high, 16" square, with galvanized nails. Here's the tomato area, he created a new "chicken" fence, much nicer than what was there before.
Planted and sunk down in the ground about one foot, dug small hole and back filled-
I'm working on emptying out some of the things in our freezer since we have three fruit trees that are pretty full and summer veggies will be ready in a few months. I had some amazing peaches frozen from one of Dave's co-workers and so decided to make this Peach Crisp It came out really super luscious! I used WW pastry flour and cut down the sugar since the peaches were dead ripe.
Since we're working on more of a plant-based diet I decided to add some canned brown lentils to a big pot of homemade spaghetti sauce. I used some of our organic homegrown frozen tomatoes and Italian peppers from last summer. To that I added one chopped onion, 3 cups sliced mushrooms, all the normal spices like fresh garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, etc. I added the lentils last and then cooked down the sauce for about 2 or 3 hours. Came out nice and hardy and no lentil flavor at all! All in all it's a keeper. More protein, tons of fiber, and literally no fat, except about 1 TBL to saute the garlic and onions!