Monday, August 15, 2011

Today's Harvest

      This afternoon is hot and muggy, but not raining at the moment.  So time was spent in the garden working on the tomato staking, and to look around for the hiding harvest.  This is what shook out of the bushes today.  Patty pan and acorn squash, a nice cucumber, a yellow straight neck squash, and more tomatoes.

Back yard harvest, 8-15-11

      The tomatoes were added to the batch on the porch to finish ripening.  Would you believe that Cindy made a triple batch of tomato soup just yesterday!  Simply scrumptious on a cold winter's day.

Porch collection, 8-15-11

Bothersome Birdies

      I hate going out to the garden to pick a tomato that has been ripening for days only to find a hole in the side where a bird pecked it.  It does not seem possible to let tomatoes fully ripen on the vine without some critter getting to them first.

Back yard garden, 8-14-11

Two on this vine pierced

      Now I have been known to pick a particularly craved tomato from the vine to eat the good side away from the damage, but I would not leave the tomato for a long time for fear of some bacteria growing in the punctured tomato.  So the result is having to pick the tomatoes days before ripeness and let them sit in the porch to finish ripening.  Not the best method.

Bagged Brandywine Tomato

      So, if you could cover the tomatoes so the birds can't see them, will they continue to ripen on the vine?  Grabbed a plastic bag that was sitting out back, and covered a Brandywine just as it was beginning to blush pink.  I was afraid the tomato might cook in the bag, but all seemed fine.  Days later, the unveiling.

Yes, a beautiful unblemished Brandywine!!!

      I had thought about using small paper lunch bags, though the pouring rain of the last few days would have done in the bags.  And I would avoid clear plastic bags, as the birds could still see the tomatoes and would probably peck right through the plastic.  So now a new way to recycle plastic bags.

Brandywine added to the rest of the haul

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Walla Walla bing bang

      This morning was the harvest of the Walla Walla onion crop, started from seed way back on January 15.  Remember back then when it was cold and dreary, and we would have delighted in a hot and humid summer day in the nineties?  Snow will come again and we will ache for the good old days of summer.

Walla Walla onions, 8-2-11

Walla Walla onions at top of picture

      I had started a flat of Walla Walla onion seed on 1/15/11, and a flat of Red Burgundy onions on 1/16/11.  The germination rates of both were disappointing, especially the Red Burgundy.  Both seed packets were for use in 2010, and that may have been a problem as I have since read that onion seed does not keep very well.  So maybe it would make sense on the next try to fork over for current seed rather than trying for the 1/2 off sales for prior year seed.  I would also think the seed could be planted in December, as a little more size to the seedlings would be great.  The flat of Walla Walla seedlings was transplanted this morning (that is 3-22-11), with plants on about 4 inch centers.

Walla Walla onions planted 3-22-11