Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Garden Report

Today I took to the tomatoes. They had grown taller than me - really, a tomato plant that was over 5'9"! However the plants slumped this weekend. I blame it on the wind that was blowing this weekend. The gusts pushed & tossed my vines, so that they are now expanding. In an effort to trim the fabulous five plants back a bit, I tried to take off all non-flowering, non-tomato producing growth. It was a herculean task and the entire creation still appears to be flopping about. There are flowers on nearly every stalk as well as little tomatoes and bigger green tomatoes.

On Monday I was tending them and found the first red cherry tomato. I took it in, showed it to Marc and then enjoyed it. The rest of the tomatoes are stubbornly holding on to their Green like Irish on St. Patty's Day. I check daily for any signs of red within the expanding green mass. Each day I'm disappointed. How could there be just one red tomato? Wouldn't it have little tomato-mates that grew with it? If so, they are well hidden among the rich smelly branches.

On sadder note, I had to pull up yet another broccoli plant. I feel so bad. I helped created these plants. I put them in the ground and encouraged them to take root. But, after they didn't perform, I have cruelly removed them from the plot - in a plan to make way for more productive things. I'm making the garden for growth and yet I reap and destroy plants in the process.

Back to the good news... the Zucchini plant is thriving. I've got a think - we're talking over 1.5 inches in diameter think - zucchini growing with two following closely. I think I'll harvest this round on Friday for dinner - we'll have Zucchini & steak and corn. And there's a fleet of little pre-zucchinis waiting their turn to grow big & sweet.

The corn plants have shot up and are now working hard on their ears. I don't know when to harvest and am trying to find that information on the web. Similarly, I'm trying to figure out why my cauliflower hasn't done its thing and grown a head either.
Here's the instructions:
Step 4: Keep cauliflower plants evenly moist; especially when they're small, they need about 1 inch of water a week, whether from rain or the garden hose.
Step 5: Start the blanching process when the flower head (also called a curd or button) is about the size of an egg. Make sure neither it nor the foliage is wet; otherwise the plant may rot. Loop heavy twine around the leaves, gently lift them up and tie them together. The aim is to keep light and moisture out, but to let air in and also leave room for the flower to grow inside its shelter.

Do you notice some dramatic lack of information... I put the plants into the ground and have been waiting for the head/curd/button... for naught. There's no indication of time. But I did realized the first paragraph states, "Though it's a cool-season vegetable, it can't tolerate weather that's too hot or too cold" Cool-Season veg - like growing it in 90+ degree heat might now work? I'll feel so sad pulling it out. I was just rejoicing my victory over the caterpillars - they seem to have disappeared.

Now, I did see a little something that made me happy:
Their mission: "Inspiring communities to build sustainable food systems that are equitable and ecologically sound, creating a just world, one food-secure community at a time."
Pretty neat - I wonder how that might get going in my community.

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