Saturday, July 11, 2009

There's Only Two Things That Money Can't Buy And That's True Love And Homegrown Tomatoes

There are some exciting things happening in the garden these days. Most notably, I'm being peppered with peppers.

"Aruba": This big daddy ripens from green, through yellow and orange, and finally to brown.

"Garden Salsa": This picture was taken seconds before I grabbed this pepper and turned it into the first salsa of the season. It was delicious, but I could taste that spicy business all night long after I ate it.

I also have some "Big Chile Hybrids" that are coming, but they're not quite big enough yet. I honestly cannot believe the difference between the peppers I grew from seed last year and the nursery bought peppers I'm growing this year. I'm sold on the nursery plants.

This is a "Table Queen" acorn squash. Everyday I go out and check on it; I poke it, squeeze it, and talk to it and I cannot wait to candy the dickens out of it when it's finally ripe.

One of the most exciting things about the garden this year is that I tried some new flower seeds, and I have a new favorite flower. This is a Nasturtium. Not only is the entire plant gorgeous, but the leaves are edible, as well. It can be trained as a vine or planted as a ground cover. Sold.

Another plant that is surprising me with its charm is the humble pole bean. This is called "Rattlesnake" and will bear purple streaked pods following those pretty magenta blooms.

I've got so many green tomatoes I don't know what's going to happen to me when they all get ripe at once. I'm gonna be a tomato fool. In fact, I may have to become a tomato peddler. You know the lady who shows up to church with grocery bags full of enormous,
good-for-nothing-but-bread zucchini and tomatoes? Yeah, that'll be me. Except that lady is traditionally a grandma. Whatever.

"China Teardrop": These will ripen first. This tomato plant is out of control. It's branches are spreading all over the garden and it probably has a height of 4 feet and a width of 5 feet. I've never seen anything like it.

"Moonglow": These big dudes are supposed to ripen to orange. ORANGE, okay?! The wait is killing me.

"Sweet 100": Look closely at this picture and you will see that this plant is growing right in the middle of the gravel walkway. I grew this variety last year and several tomatoes must have fallen on the ground because this spring I had about ten baby volunteer tomatoes pop up all over the garden. I've kept several, including this one in the walkway, mostly because I just want to see what happens with them. Has anyone else ever had volunteer tomatoes before? How did they do?
There is one more tomato variety incubating in the garden right now called "Italian Ice". The itty bitty tomatoes are supposed to ripen to white, but so far they're just little green blobs. I'll keep you updated on those.

Finally, a song about tomatoes. Because I like you.

(Pay no attention to the cheesy John Denver photo montage unless you're a big fan. Just close your eyes, tap your foot, maybe bob your head a little, and enjoy.)


Kimba said...

Volunteer tomatoes! I love it! :)

You should bottle the salsa. Or can, or whatever. And like, send me some. or bring it to Utah...

Abby said...

Sans cilantro though, right Kim?

The Kilpacks said...

Abby, can some salsa! I've got a great recipe! And every year I have some volunteer tomato plants from when we tilled int the fall. They take a little longer to mature, but mine have always done well. One year I had over 20 starts! Crazy!
You've inspired me to blog about my garden. Thanks for the great post, your garden looks super yummy!

Liv said...

That's a lot of veggies!!

Kaylynn said...

Yummy! Do you grow your own cilantro? Mine has always gone to seed--any suggestions.

Chris said...

Tomato sandwiches and BLTs.

Abby said...

Kaylynn, I grew my own cilantro last year and it went straight to seed. I don't know what the commercial growers do to get there's to not bolt. I did save the seeds though, hoping to use them as coriander. Still though, not as good.

If you find out any great hints about not letting your cilantro bolt, let me know!

Abby said...

Amy, I would LOVE your recipe, as well as instructions on how to can it. I've got a pressure canner and a hot bath canner, so I could go either way!

Would you mind emailing that to me?

Can't wait for your gardening post, and so glad to hear your volunteers did well! I was a little worried I was wasting my time with them, but I see a few little tomatoes are on their way!

Abby said...

Kaylynn, when I said 'there's" I meant "theirs".


Abby said...

Chris, oh my gosh a BLT sounds SOOOOOO good right now.

I just drooled.

heather said...

Ryan is dying having to wait for his tomatoes to ripen. We used the cilantro twice before it went to seed. Obviously not for salsa, which is a bummer maybe we'll plant that later so it will be ready with the tomatoes and peppers.

Adam and Tara said...

Your gardening skills amaze me! I'm not a huge fan of tomatoes but those are impressive. Nice job :)