The first tomatillo

I'm so happy it's finally May! The non-evergreen trees have all their leaves, the cherry blossoms have graced us with their presence, and the local plant sales are all about to start! I almost understand the urge to dance a ribbon around a tall pole. Almost.

Where I grew up, we didn't have seasons. We might have argued that there were two seasons - really freaking hot and not quite as hot. But did this fact stop our kindergarten from teaching us that there were four seasons? No. I learned that there was a summer, fall, winter, and spring like everyone else. In summer, we'd run through sprinklers to keep from collapsing from the heat and drink ridiculous amounts of iced tea with fun summer fruit flavors. In fall, we'd tell football jokes and fear that the temperature for Halloween would get too cold and we might have to ruin our costumes by adding a jacket. In winter, it would get colder (60s) and we'd all put on our warm jackets (a vareity that northerners might consider three-season jackets and shells). And in spring, nature would reinforce our delusion as we watched the magnolias get their blooms and the wisteria color the most beautiful of trellises.

And somewhere in this delusion, I remember we learned a saying - April showers bring May flowers. To be clear, you can find flowers any time of year in Texas, but our mere belief in Spring meant that just like everywhere else in the US, hardware stores and local nurseries sold us bulbs en masse. Since I grew up on the Gulf Coast, the worst of our rainy season was something like June to September, but in May, no one really questioned this logic.

Well I've done my time in the true four seasons of the Midwest, so I would argue now that it really is hard to find four seasons even in the Pacific Northwest... maybe more like three. But that said, despite knowing that our weather is always (ALWAYS) partly sunny or partly cloudy with a chance of rain, I still found myself driving through the gray-clouded, rain-pelted valleys of the Puget Sound thinking that all of these April showers will eventually bring some beautiful May flowers.

Well May is here. And guess what - it did not disapoint! So if you are lucky enough to find yourself in the Puget Sound this week, be sure to enjoy the abundant blooming trees, endless blue mountains, and sparkling waters!

But, to be fair, the real beauty of spring really did start in April. The trees had a strong start a few weeks ago, the birds all came back, and the annual Tulip festival had a great show this year. But most importantly, despite the fact that my garden is currently indoors, my plants gave me the greatest Spring gift of all.

Easter Sunday was a historic day. Many wonderful things aligned that day. My baby sister (Emily, I don't care if you're 16, you're still my baby sister) was visiting me up here for the first time! In the only Easter egg hunt that truly matters, we found some always-scarce Snickers eggs after much debate over their continued existence! And, before leaving for our visit to Pike's Place in the morning, Little T had a wonderful Easter treat for us as well.

You see, much like every other morning, I walked over to my tomatillos before leaving to give them a once over and make sure everything was looking okay. I had been talking my sister's ear off about my plants all weekend and I was explaining to her that you knew it was time to pick a tomatillo when it split its husk. And much like every other morning, I gently checked a few tomatillos to see how close their fruits were to filling their husks.

And then, I saw it. Little T's first tomatillo, hanging there, with a beautiful rip in its husk like it was too hot from the warming weather to wear it any longer. Oh, it truly was a happy day!

In the couple weeks since then, I've managed to harvest a few tomatillos, but none were as sweet (and tangy) as the first! So this spring, I hope you get a chance to see the flowers, escape the rain, or at the very least, enjoy the fruits of your urban garden!

Happy (belated) May Day everyone!

Stats for the first tomatillo

Mass (g) 30
Dimensions (mm) 29.8 x 40.5 x 43.0
Color Bright yellowish green #A6A43D
Parent Little T
Date parent planted January 3, 2017
Date ripe* April 16, 2017
Date harvested April 20, 2017
Days from planting to harvest 107

* Tomatillos are usually considered ripe when they split their husks. They seem to be fine to leave on the plant for a few days but will soon fall if not harvested quickly. You can check out my favorite tomatillo book for more info on harvesting and what to do with your tomatillos once they're no longer attached to a plant.

Newly picked tomatillo (snipped from Little T so as not to tear any part of the plant)! I don't name fruit because who wants to eat something they named?!?

Before eating the tomatillo, I had to peel the husk and twist it off. Tomatillos are sticky under the husk, so a quick rinse and you're good to go.

Since this was the first one, I sliced it in half and shared it with my other half so we could taste the fruit by itself, before putting later ones in a salsa. It was delightfully tangy and refreshing!