Saturday, August 04, 2007

Garden Update

Although the pace of summer is more relaxed while school is not in session, I haven't had much time to post much less read blogs. Intermittent internet access problems have also made posting difficult.

We have been reaping the benefits of our kitchen garden and enjoyed our first batch of fresh salsa using our own tomatoes and chiles this week. The latest cilantro I planted is for some reason stunted so we had to run to the store for that. My husband is the salsa chef so I'm not sure what combination of chile and tomato varieties he used, but the result was wonderful. He made a fresh salsa earlier in the season using store bought tomatoes and homegrown chiles and cilantro. Timing all three to be ready simultaneously has proved as challenging as making a Thanksgiving dinner and timing everything so nothing is cold by the time it all cooks and makes it to the table.

We had a little heartache because our first large tomatoes were enjoyed by birds or some other critter. Our Sweet 100 cherry harvest has been steady and abundant but remains untouched by local wildlife. I placed some bird netting over most of the tomatoes and we have enjoyed about a dozen Brandywines so far. I’ve been picking them a little early before they are completely red to make them less likely to become bird bait. It looks like we will have one or two every other day or so for the next month.

The zucchini has been particularly fruitful and my next-door neighbors have been enjoying them regularly. It is my cucumbers that have been most challenging. While they need steady watering, tomatoes do better with less, so I’ve begun a spot watering schedule so everybody stays happy. Homegrown cantaloupe has been a first-time treat and I am excited they grow so well here.

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