I’ve given up

I’ve given up on growing tomatoes. I can’t compete with the squirrels and chipmunks. I was destroyed this morning when I found this almost-ripe very fat heirloom tomato knocked to the ground and partially eaten. I’ve watched this beauty grow and ripen all summer. I had big plans for it. And while the squirrel watched from his perch on a fence, and to torture myself even more, I weighed it after I found it this morning. One pound, two ounces. Probably would have been one pound three if you count what the squirrel ate.

So that’s it for me and growing tomatoes. That’s why this sketch is my form of a note to self: Leave it to the farmers next year and stick to sketching.

42 Comments on “I’ve given up”

  1. Gail says:

    Oh I know this feeling well. My heart goes out to you, Shari. 😕


  2. Jane S says:

    Oh, yes. There are probably a lot of us that can relate to this one!…. My husband, who is our tomato grower, was especially interested to see your painting this time! He keeps a slingshot on the back deck take out his frustrations on the squirrels! Fantastic rendering of a partially eater Heirloom tomato!!… We feel your pain…..


  3. loisajay says:

    I know this, too. I worked with a farmer who told me he tied his tomatoes in his wife’s panty hose to keep the birds/squirrels/chipmunks away. Who wears panty hose anymore???


  4. I live in an apartment setting. Couple of years ago i planted tomatoes. The first one came up and before i could harvest it, the neighbors grandson grabbed it. He got in trouble, yet i wont plant again to protect my privacy.


  5. Soni says:

    if it’s any solace, my friend slaved as long as you have but couldn’t even get starts … she says getting red & green peppers much easier.

    loved the painting


  6. Tammy says:

    Such a timely post! Finally conquered the birds eating my tomatoes with netting only to spend the last few days picking off hornworms and stink bugs. Feeling defeated-again, as this happens each year, but I’m quite certain I’ll plant again next year. There’s no food more luscious that a warm fresh tomato! Enjoying your lovely watercolors!


  7. Linda Murray says:

    I feel your pain, Shari. I gave up a long time ago fighting nature. 😌


  8. gaelle1947 says:

    But at least you haven’t given up sketching!!!!! When I first read the title in your email notification…I became concerned….until I read the the complete article! One can always find tomatoes at the grocers or vegetable stands….but great artwork such as yours is a much rarer feast!


  9. Vicky Porter says:

    It’s a lovely sketch, Shari! I’m sorry about your beautiful heirloom tomato! I didn’t know that squirrels ate tomatoes. Maybe ours are safe because the squirrels are busy filling themselves on our pears. They leave the partially uneaten ones along the fence, as trophies, I think.


    • HI Vicky. It’s so nice to hear from you. I hope your Portland summer is nice! I was supposed to be there just about now : (
      As for the tomatoes, I am happy you have pears as a diversion. Hopefully you have enough for you and the squirrels.


  10. cemeryposh says:

    The rats ate all mine last year just when they were perfectly ripe but this year they have left them alone. They went after the plums instead. 😱🤬🤯

    cemeryposh@gmail.com http://www.corneliaemery.com



  11. Betsy says:

    That’s quite painful.

    I gardened at rental apartments for twenty years before I had my own yard (where squirrels raided my tomatoes, yes). I had neighbors dig entire plants up and put them in front of their apartments; human marauders who picked tomatoes and peppers when they got ripe; landscaping crew that sprayed herbicide around the vegetable patch; rental managers who came and went and were more, or less, sympathetic to our efforts at a community garden plot. Then when I finally got my own place, there were the squirrels. I did finally determine that one thing that helped (somewhat) was to leave lots of water available in bowls here and there. Often the birds and squirrels that bite tomatoes and other fruit are just looking for a source of hydration when it hasn’t rained in a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Betsy says:

      PS That was a beautiful tomato.

      Here’s hoping that Ferme Tournesol or another favorite farm can fill in the gap somewhat.


    • Betsy, I had never thought of water for the squirrels. I have four birdbaths but they are mostly too high for the squirrels to reach. I will certainly try that.
      As for you, you have also had your share of troubles trying to garden.
      I just heard that at a local high school garden in my neighbourhood, someone stole 120 heads of garlic that were ready to harvest. A local teacher had created this garden with her students. She was so upset when she arrived at the school and all the garlic was gone.


  12. Marylin Smith says:

    I can relate to your pain – every year the fruit bats would come and raid our mango tree and we would find their left-overs on the ground…..Marylin Smith (Queensland, Australia)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Nice Tomatoe painting, too bad the squirrels are eating them.


  14. TonyU says:

    Maybe a notice saying ‘No squirrels or chipmunks please’?😉


  15. Laura says:

    I don’t think I have ever had a squirrel eat a tomato. And I have lots of squirrels. My yard is really too shady for tomato plants. By the time they begin to ripen its getting cooler at night and they don’t do well. And I begin them as plants from a nursery. I have a cherry tomato plant in a pot this year…I can move it to sunny spots…It’s doing ok.
    I would try caging your tomato plants…especially if you can cage them with a rather tight weave cage. Good luck with the rest of your tomatoes!!


  16. Stephanie Descoteaux says:

    Oh nooooo! All those plans and dreams…. your beautiful tomato.


  17. Nancy Hall says:

    That’s so disappointing! After that happened to me I bought light netting that I put over the tomato plant. It worked and we have really smart (and mischievous) squirrels here in the South!


  18. Perdue says:

    I absolutely Love your art. And, by the way my tomatoes are almost as beautiful. Your blog always inspires.


  19. Jane Hannah says:

    Hah-hah Shari! The same here. We planted one beefsteak plant and it has grown to over 7 feet and every day Guy would go and check the beautiful, still green tomatoes — we had 8… and one morning, they were all bloody gone!!! We were crushed — some animal had stoken our tomatoes — hah-hah!!!


  20. joantav says:

    Squirrels tend to make a feast of what is in the gardens. I wouldn’t mind so much if they actually took something and at the whole thing. But why take a bite and then leave it ruined? At least you got a great sketch out of it.


  21. Uma Maheswar Nakka says:

    Good Evening dear friend Shari,

    Though I am late to request, still:
    Please, don’t stop growing tomatoes.
    Let those poor fellows enjoy the product from your hard work.
    They are also like us and these fellows are cute too.
    They too can be a subject for your art.



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