Sunday, July 31, 2016

Yay! Tomatoes

Today the three tomatoes that had been s-l-o-w-l-y turning red were ripe. I have been checking them for three days now, anticipating their warm tastiness and today with a small tug they dropped into my hand! The picture only shows two though because I ran in the house with the first one and we all shared in its juicy goodness. Oh yum... a bit of salt and it was divine. I also harvested a few more eggplant, so another veg meal is soon to be created.

I find myself puttering the garden quite a bit throughout the day. Weeding has been a daily chore with all the rain we have had and it seems that most plants just seem to grow bigger in my yard. It must be the fish emulsion I use for fertilizer. I gave all the veg in the raised beds a dose, as well as a drink of Epsom salt solution. The daylillies on the backyard slope will finally get a good dose of sunshine after two barrels of weeds were removed. I tossed some pelleted fertilizer around them too, since the dogs would probably eat the dirt if they smelled the fish emulsion there. I checked out our fenced plot in the backyard and found seven good sized watermelon too! I slipped a piece of tin foil underneath each to prevent rot and allow us to see them beneath the vines' leaves. This wet summer is perfect for melon growing! It is raining again tonight,
Trixie (L) & Emma (R)
so all the plants will be happy.

My dogs are looking so cute, on one of their carpet squares. They have spent most of the day nosing around the backyard slope, now that the weeds are gone. Little Trixie is thrilled that the two sets of steps down to the yard are cleared, she is dashing down one and up the other. Emma is scouting bunnies and with fewer hiding places she has chased a couple around the yard. Aren't they just a dignified pair of bright-eyed canines?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Growing Eggplant

Sunny, hot and humid here... and there are frequent thunderstorms, so think rain forest conditions! My orchids are blooming like crazy on the front porch. I emptied one rain barrel watering the raised beds and it was refilled in less than 8 hours! This year we have branched out on our veg selection and added in two Ichiban Eggplants that we purchased from Lowe's this spring. This was a terrific impulse decision because these two plants are the perfect fit for our local growing conditions. We have already enjoyed several for dinner. See the growing site here

I cook what I consider a "rustic" pasta sauce in the summer, which is a chunky, fresh veg filled version of my winter sauce. It is light and refreshing, simply perfect over spinach pasta or baked yellow potatoes. Saute two or more of these slim eggplant when they are about 8" long, sliced with two fresh zucchini 1/4'd and sliced, an onion or two, some grated carrot and a yellow bell pepper also sliced. If our tomatoes will ever turn red I would dice them up too, but while I am waiting... I add 3-15oz. cans of diced tomatoes with juice and added olive oil and oregano (Aldi brand) and a generous chopped picking of basil from the garden. Top with grated Parmesan cheese if desired. Quick, yummy and even tastier the next night as the flavors mingle.