Some of the crops are just about at the end of their season. The lettuce, mostly planted under a leaning trellis for just a touch of shade, is glorious right now – but with temperatures in the high 90s, we’d better eat it fast before it bolts and gets bitter. (The romaine in the foreground above is already getting a little bitter, but combined with the other lettuces it’s not too strong yet.)
And, of course, I am most excited by the tomatoes – the home gardener’s pride and joy. More than any other crop, tomatoes taste different when harvested from one’s own plants. I’m not sure why. Even farmer’s market tomatoes don’t quite reach the pinnacle of flavor of home-grown.
The photo on the left was taken May 22; the one on the right was taken June 11. The difference is amazing to me. We fertilized a lot when we put the plants in this year, which probably helped. Also, if you look carefully in the center of the left-hand photo, you can see a couple of pots buried in the ground. Those are kind gifts from my neighbor Kenny. They are full of horse manure. The plan is to water through the pots (he said every time, but I only do it a couple of times a week; most of my watering is automatic, thank heavens) and thus fertilize with, umm, horse-manure tea.
I can’t tell you for certain that it works, but it sure as heck isn’t hurting! So far, this year’s is the most beautiful garden I’ve ever had. I sure hope it stays that way through the summer’s heat – I bought two market umbrellas to try and cool things down for the plants, though they don’t seem to be wanting the shade yet. I can’t wait to share some squash blossom, eggplant, and tomato recipes with you!