Saturday, August 15, 2009

I'm Back!

I can't believe it's been 5 weeks since I last posted something.  July and August have been just crazy for us.  What has been going on since I last wrote?  Let me get you up to date...
The 'Mammoth' sunflower - not quite as tall as I'd hoped, but it still met Kate's requirement of "taller than Daddy".

Volunteer sunflowers that sprouted from the birdseed - I love the branching one.

I have harvested all the white onions.  The green onions are still going strong and the leeks are about ready to be pulled sometime in the next week or two.  

'Pandora' leek

Today I harvested my first eggplant - an Ichiban.  There are 3 more that will be ready in the next week or so.  The Black Beauty in the garden I have been having trouble with the flowers not setting into fruit, but the one at the street has two TINY green eggplants on it now.  I think the one in the garden finally has an eggplant also.  Next year, I think I am going to go back to the Black Magic, as it seemed to do better than the Black Beauties this year.
Ichiban eggplant, just before I picked it

Carrots are still growing along - I'll harvest them once the first frost comes, so they have a ways to go.

Peppers - the jalapenos are producing a bunch, they'll probably kick into "high gear" in the next couple of weeks.  The Lady Bells are much slower - I have one big green fruit on one plant, and lots of flowers on the rest.  Hoping it turns red before the end of the month.  Bell peppers never seem to do real well for me - it's always a race to frost time before they really start ripening and turning red (I do NOT care for green bells peppers, try as I might.  They have to be red, yellow or orange so they get sweet).

Tomatoes - where to start.  I made my first (small) batch of tomato sauce on Thursday.  The Amish Pastes are really starting to produce, as are the San Marzanos.  I've gotten 3-4 Purple Cherokees, and have 2 more that will be ripe in the next few days.  Mr. Stripey I am still waiting on - there are 3-4 green fruits on the plant.  Then there are the unidentified volunteer plants, which turned out to be... 2 Romas, 3 Celebrities (I think?) and 1 yellow pear cherry (I forget what this one was called - I planted it last year).  I really, really love the Amish Pastes.  I have not had any blossom end rot issues with them like I did with the Romas the past two years.  I have some cracking, but since they're pastes and I use them for sauce, it doesn't really bother me.
Amish Pastes

San Marzanos up close

Purple Cherokee up close

Potatoes - all of them have been harvested, and I started a second pot that I plan on pulling in the garage for the first few frosts.  I thought I'd see how a 2nd crop does.  I'm not out anything, because I used potatoes from the first harvest.  As far as the laundry basket experiment - I don't think I'll do it again.  Hilling them in the basket was a royal pain, and they didn't grow through the sides all that much.  Next time I will just stick to large pots.

Fall crops - I just planted the following recently for fall harvest - lettuce (rouge d'hiver, iceberg and little gem romaine) and peas (both shell and snow).  Hopefully the peas germinate better than they did in the spring.  We'll see.  I've not grown fall peas before.

I also have a head of garlic I got at the farmer's market that I am saving because I WILL be planting garlic this fall, I swear.  I have intended to plant garlic the past 2 or 3 falls and it hasn't happened.  This year, it will.

I also got a promise of some "Eight Ball" zucchini seeds for next year from a wonderful vendor at our local farmer's market.  He buys them by the ounce, but since I have such limited space he said he'd be happy to give me enough seeds for 2 or 3 hills.  They're a bush style zucchini, and are really cool because they're round.  I think they'll be very fun to grow next year.
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