My side yard garden has been productive during my short absence from writing, however I haven’t yet replaced my digital camera so I’m unable to get any outdoor photos. I can get some inside, albeit not terrific. It will have to do for now. Thanks for your patience, things are returning to a new normal.
The biggest surprize of the summer vegetables has been the Melanzane Rosso Di Rotonda eggplant. The plant is quite vigorous, already one of the two I’m growing is over five feet tall. It also went into fruiting quite early. Today I harvested the first fruits, four beautiful specimens (see the photo below). My plan is to turn these into Melanzane rosse di Rotanda a funghetto, a classic use of the red fruit. This morning, whilst I was spraying the eggplants with BT I found a number of baby eggplants of other varieties; Louisiana Long Green should be next to harvest, followed by Kazakhstan. The eggplants have been a bit late, and unhappy, because the weather hasn’t been the normal hot stuff we usually get this time of year; far too much rain and either cloudy or overcast skies. Now, after a few days of clear sunshine and afternoon highs around 95 the eggplants a perking up. Have I mentioned how much I like eggplant? Well, I do! Tomato production has been stellar. I raise a combination of determinate and indeterminate tomato varieties. The determinates tend to make it to the plate quicker than the in determinates, and their harvesting period is much shorter. The determinate plants are removed early, but the indeterminates stay in place well into the summer and sometimes into fall. Of the determinates Red Alert was the first to make it to the plate, but the fruits tend to get mealy if they become over ripe.Bella Rosa was the most productive, followed by Talladega. The Black Seaman and the Nebraska Wedding were problematic in germination and as seedlings, and their late state translated onto few set fruits. The Nebraska Wedding, a yellow tomato, was delicious, the Black Seaman, a dark flesh type, is still too green to eat. I currently have four indeterminate tomatoes vining their way along a wire: Brad’s Atomic Grape is more like a green plum with an uninteresting taste, Red Cherry is still just green, Chocolate Cherry was the first to make fruit and is very productive tastewise this is my current favorite, Black Vernissage, which was a free gift with my order, has been a wonderful surprise, big beautiful tasty fruits. A year and a half ago I ordered 12 Ouachita blackberry plants from Cox Berry Farm. It the time they were just 10″ to 12″ twigs, now they are five feet tall and making new shoots for next year’s berry crop. In this first year of production I’ve gotten a good return. Last spring I added a Tena fig tree to my side yard garden. This year the tree has doubled in height and has an abundance of small figs. The first of these has swelled and gone ripe, they are fabulous. Finally, there’s the Catnip. For years I’ve been buying catnip at the grocery store, now up to $3.99 a package. I finally said, “I can grow this stuff!” I now have a dedicated catnip pot on my herb shelves. The problem has been my garden kitty, Creature. She climbs into the pot (a perfect kitty size) rolls around, breaks up and eats all the catnip, frequently. This morning I was able to salvage two small sprigs for my catnip-lovin’ stripey-boy kitties, Newpe, in the orange suit, and Nutnut, in the grey suit. Although the catnip is hard to see this is the result.