I know. It’s only been two days and I’m already back. There’s just so much happening in the garden (and kitchen) right now and lots to share. My neck isn’t hurting too much today. The trick seems to be more exercise, time spent outdoors, and a lot less time on the computer.
The forecast was calling for thunderstorms, so I spent the morning in the garden harvesting produce, particularly ripe tomatoes. Some varieties are prone to cracking when ripe, especially after a strong rainfall so I wanted to be sure to get them off of the vines before the storm hit.
I have also been neglectful about pruning and staking these past weeks and there were a few plants that had grown into multi-branched monsters. With their fruit growing heavier by the day, it was essential to stake the tangled mess to avoid breakage in case of strong rain and winds. While I was at it, I pruned out excess foliage to ensure good air flow all around the plants. I want to keep my plants happy and producing ripe fruit right through to the first frost.
To make things more informative, I have uploaded the photo (above) of tomatoes to my Flickr stream and have added notes indicating which varieties are which. There are a few more in this batch than there was in the August 13 photo. There are still a number of varieties that haven’t even put out their first ripe fruit — many of which I have never grown nor tasted before. The fun never stops. Fortunately, I have got my taste for tomatoes back.
Some more of today’s harvest is depicted here. ‘Spanish Padron’ peppers (harvest them small. They get hotter as they grow), pole beans (‘Annelino Giallo’ (my first year growing this variety) and ‘Trionfo Violetto’), purslane (I let this weed grow and harvest the leaves for salads), Swiss chard and assorted herbs for my lunch. What is not shown is the giant amaranth I harvested to make West Indian callaloo soup, and an armload of mint that came off of plants that needed a good end-of-summer haircut.
I have a lot of canning and preserving work ahead of me these next days. A first batch of slow dried tomatoes have just come out of the oven (I regret using the ‘Green Grape’ variety. They are delicious fresh, but unpleasant when dried. Fortunately, ‘Maglia Rosa’ and ‘Haley’s Purple Comet’ are nice.), another batch has gone in for sauce, and I’ve just finished washing the excess amaranth leaves in preparation for freezing.
What about you? Are your tomatoes producing yet? Are you drowning in the summer’s bounty?