Friday, August 23, 2013

The tomatoes are here!

...and now we are enjoying them in (clockwise from upper right) frittata, pasta, sauce, pizza, and salads!

I would like to officially put the word out to God, Mother Nature, the Great Pumpkin, or whoever is in charge of such things that I totally would not mind spending part of my Labor Day weekend preserving tomatoes.  Thanks.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The mystery squash has multiplied!

I was gone for approximately 48 hours this weekend, and I returned home to this:

A rather large (about 8 inches) very pale green squash!

There is another one on the way...

After some extensive research (aka: a Google search for "pale green squash") I think I've narrowed it down to what's referred to on websites as a "Lebanese-type" squash.  But is it Magda or White Vegetable Marrow?  Or is it a spaghetti squash that just hasn't turned yellow?  (this would be something that may have been in our compost pile to start with... the other two, I've never eaten)  I'm trying to get info so I can figure out how large to let them grow.  Any ideas?

(Sorry the pictures are pretty terrible!  This sucker is tough to photograph well.  Color in the top picture is more accurate - very pale green)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Freaky Friday II... it's growing!

Well, something is definitely growing on the Mystery Squash Vine that I recently discovered:

Any guesses as to what this will turn into?  Do yellow flowers always mean zucchini?  I don't have enough squash-growing experience to know...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Pickles, pickles, pickles!

Maybe all is not well in Tomatoville, but I've been enjoying plenty of cucumbers!  It was a rocky start, but the plants have been very fruitful and I'm a little sad that they seem to be heading towards the end of their run.

Not looking too healthy.
On a recent day off I made a huge batch of Garlic Dill Pickles -- 6 pints total.  So now I can officially say that I have a Windowsill of Pickles! (add that to the 4 pints already on the shelf, and the 2 in the refrigerator, and I probably need to start giving some away...)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Well, it's official...

On August 14, I harvested the very first tomatoes of the season!

Whatever will I do with such a haul?  (here's hoping that others are not far behind, though today's weather of 60 and cloudy probably isn't helping much...)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Freaky Friday!

Even though not much is happening in the actual garden, I found a nice surprise in the heap of weeds near the compost bin...

I didn't get a great picture of it, but this is just part of a squash plant that has spontaneously popped up in an extra-weedy corner of the yard!  It is pretty big, and if this photo were of a better quality, you'd be able to tell that those blobs in the center are actually squash blossoms!  The irony of this is that for 3 years I tried unsuccessfully to grow zucchini... and the one time I didn't even bother, it seems to have spontaneously generated from my compost!  It'll be interesting to see if anything comes of this.  What a punch to the gut if all the plants I slaved over from seed yield nothing, and this rogue vine from a pile of kitchen garbage bears fruit!

Progress? (please say yes!)

For the most part, the garden remains at a standstill, as do the temperatures in Cleveland.  We've had steady 70-ish, partly cloudy conditions for a solid 2 weeks now, and the tomatoes stubbornly refuse to play along with this weather!  There are the slightest hints of color, but considering how long it's taken to even get this far, I'm not holding my breath that I'll soon be harvesting tomatoes...

I'd gladly post more pictures if there were more than 2 tomatoes with any color.  This is out of ten plants!  I am so worried that I won't get any ripe tomatoes! 

...and don't even get me started on the eggplant.  Three plants, and only one flower on August 8?  My stomach sinks at the thought that there might be... nothing.

Is this happening in any other part of the country?  Next week's forecast is more of the same... partly cloudy, highs in the mid-70s.  I know I shouldn't look, because it only discourages me further... but this time last year is when I had my first windowsill of tomatoes.  Ahhh!  What's a gardener to do?

Friday, August 2, 2013


Hmmm.  It's finally hitting me that the early fall-type weather that I've been loving so much is not the greatest for my vegetables.  NOTHING is ripening.  Last weekend I was bemoaning that everything was green and this week it is more of the same.  I'm starting to worry.

San Marzano tomatoes a-plenty... but they are all totally green

SO MANY cayenne peppers... if they'd ever turn red!
There does not seem to be any end in sight to this weather... and honestly, were it not for the garden, I'd be thrilled!  But those low temperatures are concerning.

But there's not much to do about it, so instead, Butch and I spent some time outside and made room for fall crops - beets, cauliflower, cabbage, and more fennel.

I've gotten some beets recently in our CSA subscription and have enjoyed roasting them for salad.  So, for a few dollars I decided to buy two packets of seeds - Chioggia beets, which are a gorgeous red and pink stripe, and golden beets.  I planted them where the spinach never really came to fruition, next to the second planting of Toscano kale:

A-a-and... that's all, folks!  I wish there were more to report (and eat!).  Hopefully there will be soon.