It’s been too hot to weld these past few weeks so I’ve spent most of my days in the veggie garden. Our crops are doing fairly well, especially cucumbers, kale and Swiss chard. The zucchinis have been slow, but finally I can walk out in the morning and see more than one squash blossom open. For weeks I’ve been using closed up male flowers to hand-pollinate available females, but now the bees can get to work.
While we’ve had some successes it hasn’t all been good news. Three of my tomato plants have called it quits, succumbing to something and I wish I knew what so I could avoid it next time. Spotty, yellow leaves. Wilting. Brown stems. Loads of caterpillars. Tomatoes are a challenge! Too much water and too little water tend to look the same from the outside, while bacterial and fungal issues spread quickly between plants. Lack of food, calcium, magnesium – who knew? Not me.
We did have a gorgeous early crop of Better Boys and Early Girls and our cherry tomatoes continue to thrive so I can’t complain. Yesterday I pulled the dying plants out and put in two new plants with some heavy-duty potting soil. I also visited a friend at the local nursery who has developed his own line of fish-emulsion-based plant food and a calcium supplement for tomatoes to prevent the dreaded Blossom End Rot, or BER. We’re doing an experiment to see how my plants do using his recommended feeding schedule and products. I have a feeling I never feed my tomatoes enough so I’m looking forward to big results!
My favorite part of growing food is finding creative and delicious ways to put it in my belly. I like to just type ingredients into google and see what interesting recipes come up, then modify them to fit what we’re in the mood for and what we have on hand. Fresh, grilled, fried, baked, sliced and diced, here are a few of our most recent creations. Many thanks to the bloggers out there whose recipes I’ve borrowed. And please excuse my blurry pics. I’m usually moving fast and trying to get a shot in without Jon’s hands or fork sticking in there!
I have to say I think the best new recipe in our repertoire is that cherry tomato salsa. So easy and so delicious! The perfect topping for fish tacos. We grilled fresh yellowtail and put it in little corn tortillas, topped it with cabbage, avocado and a yogurt-Siracha sauce and then dumped heaping piles of salsa on top. It was hands down one of my favorite meals in recent history.
And now for some reason I’m incredibly hungry! I guess I’ll head to garden and see what’s for lunch.