Archive for September, 2006

Busy, busy, busy

Sorry for the delay in updating this post. So much has happened since I last wrote. Eric and I went on vacation to Bryce and Zion (see separate page), the summer garden is slowing down, and we are pulling plants out to make room for the winter veggies we are planting now.

Just when I thought the summer garden was pooping out, it surprizes me and delivers more squash and tomatoes. The beans are about done, we need to plant more and space out the yard longs next year. The Armenian and Lemon cucumbers are still growing well and even though the basil seems to have seen it’s last days, it is still good for making pesto and serving with tomatoe, or whatever else you use basil for.

The winter garden is planted with chard, cauliflower, brocolli, cabbage, beets, turnips, arugula, kale, radish and a variety of lettuces. We planted a lot more this year than last, so we think we will have a nice crop. As long as the bunnies leave us some. You know, if it’s not one varmit, it’s another. The vole seems to have left, but now we have a bunnie in the upper garden and either a bunnie or a squirrel in the lower garden. Whatever it is in the lower garden, it’s eating the tomatoes near ground level. But I don’t think he likes them as much as we do, since he just takes big bites out of them and then leaves them. We think it’s a bunnie in the upper garden because he is eating the tender, new leaves of the radish. We’ll have to figure this out otherwise I’m concerned he’ll eat all our newly planted lettuce.

Speaking of critters eating our veggies, I almost forgot about the mystery of what ate tomatoes and cucumbers I had left on our deck. I had extra for our customers, if they wanted them, so I set the veggies out by our front door, thinking they’d be safe on our deck. The next day, when I went outside, I found they had been vandalized. Something had taken bites out of everything. There were tomatoe seeds and juice all over the deck. Shasta, Margi’s hobo dog, was sunning herself nearby, so I asked her if she had anything to do with the mess. She came to me, with her tail between her legs and head down. Well, of course I figured she did it. I thought it was kinda funny, but I told her she was a bad dog. She left and crawled under the deck. (I swear, I didn’t yell at her, she likes to be under the deck.) Mystery solved, or so I thought.

Mystery Vandal

The next day, early in the morning, Eric comes running into the bedroom, announcing there’s a deer on the deck. And sure enough, even though I didn’t actually see the deer, I heard her running across the deck to the back of the house. Deer are always around, and they come close to the house, but never on the deck. Shasta acceped my apologies for the mistaken identity. (The deer came back the next day too, we didn’t see it, just heard it run across the deck from the front to the back of the house.)

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Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatoes

Gotta love ’em!!! Cuz we have 15 varieties. So yes, we are eating tomatoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, not cuz we have to, but cuz we love them so much.

Besides tomatoe sandwiches, my favorite way to eat them is with a little salt or cut in slices, with a little olive oil and maybe some balsamic vinegar with a few chopped up basil leaves and a little salt and pepper. Add some french bread and call it lunch!

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I just had to share these two tomatoes with you. The one on the left is a Caspian Pink and, believe it or not, it weighs 1.5 pounds! On the right we have a German Red Strawberry and it weighs about a pound. That Caspian Pink is the largest one I have picked to date.

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Bog Garden

Below are a couple of pics of the Bog Garden. We call it that because it’s behind and lower than the pond and the ground at the end of the garden seems to always be wet. We joke that we could grow rice there.

So what you see in this first pic is squashes and melons in the foreground and tomatoes in the background.

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Here is a closeup of the damage done by the vole. I think he has eaten 3 to 5 squash plants. But there is hope, I saw some new plants popping up the other day. Let’s hope he’s left. Did you know voles look like cute, little mice and they can have 12 litters in a year!!

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This next pic isn’t very exciting, photography-wise, but it’s a pic of the tomatoes. And we are so proud and thrilled about this year’s crop. They are the best tasting tomatoes ever. I conduct taste tests at my other job, and everyone loves trying the different varieties. My favorites so far this year are the Sun Gold and Isis Candy cherrys (thank you Marcia), the Pineapples (super sweet) and the German Red Strawberries (perfect for tomatoe sandwiches, very meaty, not many seeds).

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Baby Hawks #2, or is it 3

I think this is a better pic of the hawks than the first one and I wanted to share. It was really something to see 3 baby hawks hanging out at the water dish.

They have since flown away, wherever hawks go. The last time I saw one on the deck was on my birthday, early in August. I was getting ready to go to Tahoe with my sis, when I thought, “I haven’t seen the hawks lately”. That very moment, I turned to look towards their water dish and one of them was sitting in the dish. It was so cool, because he started to take a bath. A big bird in a saucer taking a bath just amazed me. That was a great birthday present.

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More Wonderful Veggies

As you can see in this picture, we harvest a lot each time we pick. Check out the heirloom tomatoes in the lower right. Yummm!!!!

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