[gardeners] Progress report

George Shirley (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Thu, 25 Jun 1998 20:03:40

Well, here's my progress report, let's start with tomatoes.

1) Dinner Plate from Totally Tomatoes - must be another variety or
something other than what I ordered. Little odd-shaped nubbins that tend to
fall off at an early age. Tossed the rest of the seed packet in the trash
and pulled the vines and did the same thing with them.

2) Amish Paste, also from Totally Tomatoes (remind me not to order from
them again) - not as prolific as I was led to believe by raves from
friends. Tasty tomatoes though and very meaty. Will order seed from a more
reliable supplier next time.

2) Yellow Pear, got the seed from Walmart, NK brand - second year to grow
these and they amaze me each time. Very prolific, good quality and tasty.
Will plant again. The vines have about done their thing so are coming out
of the ground as the last of the toms ripen.

3) Homestead, don't remember where we got the seed, think it was a "gift"
from an internet site. Again NK brand. First time I've grown these in
years, prolific bearer of mid-sized red toms with a definite tomato taste.
Picked dead ripe, sliced thick and put on whole wheat with a little mayo
they make a right good sammich.

4) Tumbler, seed from Burpee's, touted as a hanging basket plant. Worked
well that way for me and we harvested the first of the fruit on May 6th.
Just pulled the plants as they were beat to death by recent high winds.
Very tasty little red toms from marble to ping pong ball size, very
prolific for a small plant. Will definitely "do" them again.

Beans and peas - Grew Kentucky Wonder bush type green beans this year, very
prolific and tasty. Picked more than 20 quarts off of one 24-foot row and
then yanked them out. Will plant another crop in the fall. The seed was
from the local feed and seed and were in bulk, no idea who grew them.

Crowder peas, original seed came from some we got at a roadside stand a few
years ago. We have saved our own for about six years. When fully ripe they
make a black southern pea about the size of a pencil eraser, very tasty but
not very prolific. We get just enough for fresh peas during the season and
occasionally enough to can a few pints.

Squash - Grew Waltham Butternut, Spaghetti, Cushaw, Bennings Green Tint,
got very few fruit due to squash borers. What we did harvest was excellent
and the plants appeared to be heavy bearers. The cushaw in particular
tastes good as an immature squash. Spaghetti and cushaw from Richters,
Butternut from Walmart, Green Tint from Margaret Lauterbach (I believe).

Edible gourd - Growing cucuzzi on the recommendation of Margaret. Excellent
eating fruit picked young. I pick them at 15 to 24 inches in length and up
to 2 inches in diameter and they have consistently been good. Very
prolific, heckuva climbing vine, 3 of them are covering about 30 feet of
netting that reaches 6 feet off the ground. I particularly like them
sauteed with a little onion and garlic in olive oil. Had some tonight.

Bright Lights Swiss Chard, seed from Margaret (darn I owe you a bunch
Margaret). What can I say, very decorative, we like the taste, it freezes
well so we can have greens all winter, and it's very prolific.

New Zealand Spinach, seed from Pinetree, repeat what I said about the chard.

Golden Queen sweet corn, seed from Shumway, another firm I will not order
from again, was supposed to be Golden Queen tomatoes. A fortuitous mistake
as it turns out. Had another batch for dinner tonight, very good corn taste
and about as sweet as I care for. Not prolific, makes one ear per stalk.

Jicama, seed from Richters again, don't know anything yet as the vines are
about 20 feet long down the west fence and the roots won't be ready to eat
for a good while. We've always enjoyed the ones from the market so expect
great things.

Chinese Yam, seed from Margaret's seed store, ;-). Don't know anything
about them and probably won't harvest anything until either next year or
after frost, whichever comes first. Looking forward to seeing and tasting

Louisiana Long Green Eggplant, from Margaret, haven't harvested the first
one yet but am looking forward to trying them. Looks sorta like a green
Ichiban, one of our favorites.

Dusky eggplant, from Margaret, little round purple things, haven't
harvested them yet but the little plants are only about 10 inches tall and
setting fruit.

Purple Rubin basil, from Richters, excellent basil flavor but not much
purple color. Purple Ruffles had more color but less taste. Good grower,
just now trying to go to seed, have already topped about three times and
dried the results.

Mammoth Basil, big ol' green leaves with very aromatic taste and smell,
have grown it for years. Been topped three times, made pesto, dried some,
chopped some and mixed with ground meat for basil burgers (top with a
little home-made salsa). Very good, consistent producer. Came from Richter's.

Golden Grain Amaranth, seed from Margaret. Great big seed heads, just about
ready to harvest, reckon I'll grind it to flour and make some tortillas or
fry bread out of it. Plants get about six feet tall and the stalk is as big
around as my wrist. I'll let you know what it tastes like. Might just add
some to my bread when I bake.

That's about it and the spring/summer garden is about shot. Reckon we'll
still be getting cucuzzi, chard, and NZ spinach for some time and the
chiles and eggplants like hot weather so they will continue to produce.
Will give a report on the chiles later. What y'all growing?