My sea of tomatillo

My tomatillo forest

A butterfly & a bee

A butterfly & a bee

I just spoke of the Year of the Flower. Now I need, yes need, to speak of my Year of the Tomatillo. If you have had the misfortune of not enjoying these little wonders, well come on over. I’m sure I have enough to share! Really!

It may seem ridiculous to some to be angry or irritated with a plant, but that is exactly why I currently have a “bumper” crop of tomatillos. I purchased a new packet of tomatillo seed last year. One of my very favorite seed folks in my neighboring state of Virginia, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. I looked through their catalog in the winter, of course, and found these seeds. They sounded perfect for me, seeing as how I am a huge fan of heirlooms. “Authentic” mexican tomatillo. How wonderful I think, in my warm winter home with the gray, brown, dull-seeming winter scape out doors. I forgot about the word “authentic” in the plant scene. Authentic….natural….wild….self-seeding…..bramble…..wanting to be everywhere…..can live on and out grow many others. And that is just what this lovie has done. And it is very well deserved on my part.

Back to the being irritated at plants part. This “authentic” tomatillo plant did, well, all this and more. I now seem to be not only feeding my family tomatillo foods, but I am also feeding the pollinators. The butterfly, honey bee, and bumble bee absolutely love this plant. And I will love and embrace it this year. I will not turn an overly taxed back to my tomatillos generous offerings.

Busy honey bee

Busy honey bee

Bee proboscis.

Looking closely, witness the bee’s proboscis (tongue) at work.

I have sent my sister and niece off with a huge bag of them this day. My sister saying, no I can’t take them all. Me saying please, you saw how many more I have out there! She grows them, but they are weeks behind me. Just sharing the bounty!

Though last year I turned my back, this year  I will can, pickle, preserve in any way, freeze, eat fresh, and give away these many, many tomatillos. Because this is the Year of the Tomatillo, well at least in my garden!!


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