[gardeners] Friday in the garden

George Shirley (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Fri, 29 Jun 2001 10:57:20 -0500

After another 3 inches of rain yesterday afternoon I went out this morning in
the coolth of dawn and LO! There were many huge cukes, a few zukes, several
eggplant, and very many tomatoes ready to pick. Filled up a 5 gallon bucket and
broughteth forth into the kitchen for washing and sanitizing. This afternoon I
shall endeavor to make some kind of pickles, gotta go through the pickling
recipes first to determine which to make. Still have several quarts of sweet
pickles left from last year so it will probably be dills. Don't need more sweet
pickle relish as I just ran upon a case of a dozen pints from last year and
there are six more in the cupboard. Decisions, decisions.

I am growing two new sweet chiles this year, Giant Marconi and the other one,
the one that died. I must say that the Giant Marconi's are producing well. They
make a chile that looks somewhat like a pasilla, about six inches long by three
or four inches in diameter. Difference is they are a sweet as bells. I'm
seriously thinking of making chiles relleno with a couple tonight as I intend to
french fry some eggplant, a favorite around here, anyway. It will be interesting
to see how the Giant Marconi's do. Will stuff them with a mix of cream cheese,
salsa, onion and garlic, roll in a thick batter and then deep fry.

It's a good thing we finally got the veggie gardens mulched with newspaper, cut
way down on the soil splash onto the plants. I also picked the bottom leaves off
the tomatoes this morning to lessen problems with fungus and mildew, two
problems in the land of swamps and marshes.

I had thought I had gotten all the sunchoke tubers out last year. Even sifted
the soil through 1/4 inch hardware cloth. Guess what, they're over 10 feet tall
and very healthy and in a patch about 4 feet square. 

The oregano, both varieties is busy blooming and, when the sun is out, full of
bees of all varieties. The thyme is blooming also and the French tarragon and
the Mexican Mint Marigold are both getting bigger. Unfortunately it got too wet
for my sage and it is gone. Miz Anne's chamomile is blooming again and there's
way to much feverfew out there. Some epazote came up in the herb garden again so
will harvest that young and pull out by the roots. Believe it or not, beans
cooked with a healthy amount of epazote do not produce near as much gas as those
without. We have grown to like the taste of the epazote in the beans too. Might
cook a little mess of pintos with tasso and sausage this weekend.

Our kumquats are loaded with blooms and are now producing small fruits. We're
hoping for a good crop as we are running out of kumquat marmalade plus we like
them just for the chomping.

Stopped by the nursery today where I had purchased the Bruce plum that died on
me. Took it along to see if the owner could tell me why it died, thriving one
day, dead within two days. He didn't know the reason either but replaced it at
no cost, surprised the heck out of me. Plus the replacement tree is twice as big
and in a 10-gallon pot. It is now in the ground with it's roots spread over a
nice mix of compost, composted horse manure and rice hulls, and just plain old
dirt. I elevated it a bit just in case it had waterlogged during the heavy rains
of recent weeks. Reckon that nurseryman will get more of my business even if he
does mostly sell perennials to old ladies in the garden club. <VBG>

Gotta go now, picked up a few more books at the library today and want to go
exploring in their midst. Life is good.