The first picture shows a care package I gave to a neighboor who gave me honey from his bees when we first moved in. I gave him food as a thank you for having these great bees who help pollinate my food.
I am drying tomatillos and tomatoes. The tomatoes are mostly San Marzano which are meant for sauce so they have low water content and dry quickly yet provide concentrated tomato flavor. They also make delicious sauce which I have in the freezer. The tomatillos when dried and sprinkled with a bit of salt take on a tasty mild apple flavor. Yum!
I bought a lot of seeds for next years garden. I am a bit over zealous I think but super excited to see what I can grow and how it might taste. I bought a four small metal cases with small circular containers that are intended to hold beads. I find it a delightful seed sorter so I can store them in my fridge without having to pull them out all the time to look at what I have or their package for info.
We have eating tomatoes frequently available. I love walking out to the garden and letting what is ripe dictate my dinner that night. Some interesting shapes arise too.
The pond has what I thought was duck weed on it then later learned it is a certain kind of water fern. I like it better now knowing that for some reason. Like a soft carpet floating over the water providing a cozy blanket for all.
I try to eat zucchini flowers but with travel I had one that got away from me. I cam beach to one that is bigger than my forearm.
Peppers are very happy with all this heat. Habanero peppers which I made into a ground powder to use like seasoning. Fresno which are delicious stuffed with goat chase and roasted.
The garden is in full swing, producing food and still some flowers are around. The wisteria has dropped it’s flowers but the full foliage remains above the deck area providing shade.
Jasmine that I put in pots is now in full growth, creating a green wall that I had hoped for.
We are sleeping outside in a screened in room that we call the zen room. Beautiful space to sleep in and the summer nights are cool and quiet to drift off to sleep.
I love our life here.
I went a bit overboard this year on gardening. I decided to save planning for next year and just grow stuff and see what happens. I am prepared for a learning curve. I will just take whatever happens as information.
I planted seeds….lots of them. I figured maybe 50-70% would grow.
A couple of weeks later things are looking really good.
Another week later, I realize every seed is a very happy plant.
I didn’t expect so many to grow.
To make matters worse I bought some little plantlets from the local nursery. Two boxes worth to be exact to make up for what I though what wouldn’t grow, but did. About 25-30 plants actually. I am in much deeper than I intended.
So I gave some plants to friends.
Still, I have too many. I planted them all anyway. I had flowers developing in plants that are still in their little 6 packs!
So as of last weekend (April 21), all plants are either in the ground or in the pot they will stay in all summer.
On Sunday night, it was getting dark and I was running around plopping tomato plants and peppers in every remaining garden spot I could find. With only 20 minutes of light left and no more garden space, I still had 12 tomato plants in their starter packs to be planted. I found a spot that we use for a work area and the ground is probably too rich with old horse manure and they are planted too dense to grow well. In the ground they went anyway. I can pull the ones that seem like they will fall behind.
This is my surprise garden area….mostly because it was “Surprise, there was not a garden here 20 minutes ago and now there it is” . Also it will be both a surprise if any of them grow and since I mixed up the tags for these plants it will be a surprise to what kind of tomatoes they are ( I have 3 kinds from seeds).
Such rogue gardening.
I was a bit zealous and planted a bit early this year. I have a few tomatoes that I bought as plantlets which were hit with frost a few weeks ago. The tops and edges were frost burned. Now they are thick stemmed and already flowering.
What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
I planted a few tomatoes today, already started organic heirlooms. Old German, Valencia, and Better Boy. Who names these varietals anyway?
There are very few things that compare to the sheet pleasure of going barefoot in the garden, warm dirt combing through my hands, the smell of warm tomato plants around me, and the warm setting sun on my back. For added measure I planted Basil along side the tomatoes. It is probably folklore that the basil keeps the tomato plants disease free. No matter, aside from the sheer convenience of usually picking them together anyway, the smell of warm ripe tomatoes in the vine combined with Basil is divine!
The garden is doing well. I have been eating baby spinach and baby kale as they are growing in tight clumps so I’m attempting the thin by eating.
Tags: basil, Feb, Tomato