The Mexican Sour Gherkins are producing like crazy this year, enough that we actually have a bunch in the basket to take home with us at the end of every visit to the community garden. Last year they didn’t make it past the gate. Meanwhile regular cucumbers are going for more than 2 bucks a piece at the market. The summer has been so wet most plants have died putting them in high demand. The Mexican Sour Gherkins on the other hand are strong, healthy, and happy.
I didn’t plan on growing them again this year but am very glad that I did.
I made a meal for friends the other night that included a small tray of cucumbers sliced up. I left the Mexican Sour Gherkins whole and everyone commented on them…. so much more interesting then cucumbers and with a nice sour crunch.
More on growing them.
Meanwhile, over at the community garden, my cabbage is finally starting to produce a real head. It’s a little slow but luckily it’s also a solid, hardy variety.
I wasn’t sure of the identity of the creature that I found on my garlic chive blossoms the other day so I pulled out Garden Bugs of Ontario and quickly identified it as Cabbage Butterfly (Pieris rapae). And then I realized that I know cabbage butterfly, I’m just not so used to seeing it up close and with so much detail. Sometimes the macro lens gives me an alien-like view of the world that can be exciting but also somewhat disconcerting.
The book was a gift from Charity Briere who happens to be one of the book’s illustrators. Thanks Chair!
These peppers will eventually turn orange but they’re a bit behind. I am honestly surprised to have any at all. They came in a packet marked with germination problems and I actually started them several times thinking I had been unsuccessful. And then, when most of the other seedlings had gone outside to harden off I discovered a tiny seedling had germinated in an unmarked cup, something that had slipped through the cracks in my sophisticated tagging system. A little while later I was able to identify the seedling as a pepper plant. I guessed it was probably the ‘Orchid’ and it was. Yay!
‘Orchid’ is a fruity scotch bonnet type although I have read that its heat rating is only a 2. I guess we’ll find out soon enough. It’s other name is ‘Aji Flor.’ ‘Aji’ is a common prefix used to identify peppers with a Peruvian ancestry. Most of these Peruvian peppers fall under the botanical Capsicum baccatum while the most of the popular hot peppers varieties have the species name annum.
Phew. All of that before noon!
Look who showed up looking for lunch while I was out on the roof taking photos yesterday afternoon. He had absolutely no fear whatsoever. I could have reached out and touched him. I yelled and stomped around and he just looked at me like I was holding out a bag of peanuts.
He ain’t care. He is nothing if not the most laid back squirrel there ever was.
I’m so confused. Is he the one who’s been pulverizing my tomatoes? I thought it might be him because my neighbor mentioned seeing him a few times. But then the raccoons started coming around every night and I was sure the decimated bits of scattered tomato was their handiwork. They have a way with just ripping plants to shreds. But that’s the thing. The culprit has been ripping the tomatoes to shreds but the plants themselves have been left intact. Raccoons tend to take out everything in their path, fruit, plants, the lot. And this tomato stealer is a tricksy one. This guy or gal only goes for ripe tomatoes. Squirrels are never that discerning. They tend to just sample everything and leave what doesn’t suit them.
I’m starting to think that my next role as a gardener should be CSI: Garden. I need to spend the winter getting studied up on your scatology, and your bite mark identification. I need to put myself together one of those fancy C.S.I gadget cases, complete with crime scene markers, DNA kits, assorted envelopes, those cotton swabs tucked into plastic cases that close jobbies, and a vat of sticky lip venom puffing gloss. Or personal lip collagen injection kit.
Or maybe I just like a good mystery and I’m over thinking it. Maybe it doesn’t matter who’s eating the tomatoes. What matters is that they are eating most of each fruit they take rather then taking one bite and leaving the rest.
And by the looks of things, I’d say they are enjoying it.