Sunday, September 21, 2008

Jack Frost nipping at my toes.....

....Well, not yet but he's gaining on me. The weather people were waffling on whether my area would get hit or not on Thursday night. I was out in the dark covering up my tomatoes. False alarm. I kept the big sheet of plastic hanging on the garden fence so it's ready to go when Jack arrives. Heritage is blooming (see photo) I forgot it doesn't have much of a vase life until after I cut it. Whoops! I also cut some zinnias and cosmos. The zinnias aren't really too impressive this year. I'm warming up to the cosmos. Some of the blooms are really tiny and delicate-lilliputian is how I would describe them, some are medium sized and some are large. The colors range from pale pale pink (almost white) to Raspberry pink. Some are pink with Raspberry edges. Very pretty.
Bodie got under the deck again this week. This time he decided to try the other end -right next to the Heritage rose. Aaaagh! Luckily, the rose bush came out unscathed. My perennial Helianthus wasn't so lucky-it had been infested with tiny red bugs so I cut it all down about 2 weeks ago. If it doesn't make it I won't be bummed. Some sweet peas got clobbered too they are the annual kind so they're about done anyway. Father in law was at the house when it happend (we were at work) he's a good one not to panic and got Bodie out from under the deck with a trail of dog biscuits.
I dug up one of the daikon radishes I planted back in July. Not at all impressive. Didn't look like much of anything so I put it back in the ground.
Well it's Sunday and Sunday in the Fall means Football!!! Go Bills!!!!! Hockey season is right around the corner-Wooo Hooo!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tomatoes at last!

First regular sized tomato was harvested September 2- a Super Sioux. Since then the Garden Peach and Green Zebra have decided to join the party. I ate everything so fast I forgot to take pictures. Whoops. I have posted a pic of cherry tomatoes from the farmers market in one of my favorite bowls (by Richard Aerni a nationally known local artist). I wasn't at all scientific-I haven't weighed or measured anything. I have just sliced and salted and popped in my mouth. Mmmmm..Super Sioux has a really nice flavor-perfectly round and for the most part unblemished fruit (I picked a cracked one today we had a TON of rain last night and SS suffered as a result). Great flavor. I'm kind of weirded out by Garden Peach-it really looks like a peach and has fuzzy skin. I haven't tried to eat it skin and all yet. But I did try one that I blanched and peeled-it has a really nice mild but not too mild flavor. I made a fresh tomato sauce for some spaghetti for dinner the other night. I can honestly say it was the best spaghetti I have ever had. I shocked the heck out of myself.

2 of Each-Super Sioux, Garden Peach and Green Zebra-blanched seeded and diced

c. 1 Tbs fresh Basil -chiffonade

1 clove Garlic- minced

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

Israeli Feta cheese (not as dense and less salty than Greek feta)

I put the olive oil and garlic in a large fry pan over medium heat, when the garlic started to release it's garlickyness I added the diced tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste. Brought the whole thing to a boil, added the basil and then poured over a bowl of spaghetti and topped with the feta- not too much more of a heavy garnish than an actual ingredient. Mmmm the salty creaminess of the feta was a nice compliment to the acidity of the tomatoes.

I gave up on the squash and zucchini-the powdery mildew really took it's toll. The plants weren't putting out much fruit and what was coming out was really weird looking. I ripped everything out this morning. I left the cucumber plant, it is still producing despite looking like hell. I also ripped out all of the lettuce-it has all bolted.

Good news is the roses are happy for the cooler nights (in the 40-50's) They have bloomed in the last 2 weeks in the following order: Winchester Cathedral, Sweet Promise, Gruss an Aachen. Heritage has 2 buds and will probably bloom later this week. Eden is growing like a weed. Captain Sam and Distant Drums are looking a little peaked but not too bad.

I potted up the rose cuttings I took during my class that I took in July with der Rosenmeister. Belle Sultane, Rosarie de l'hay and Illusion didn't make it :( in defense of der Rosenmeister, it was the hottest day of the year and my cuttings were in the hot car for quite a while that day when I was supposed to put them directly in cool shade. The Fairy is doing great and has been transplanted into a gallon container and Thor is chugging along (I'll see if it's ready to transplant in another week or two). I also took cuttings from my moms roses- all are mystery roses given to her by family friends and neighbors. They all seem to be doing well and have been transplanted to 1 gal containers-this is probably their only chance for survival as I had to plow through weeds to find the sickly plants to get the cuttings. This success with the later cuttings leads me to believe der Rosenmeister was spot on in his instruction and I'm just a schmuck for not having a better plan in place after the class.

Note to self: don't let DH drink two cups of coffee and then watch football-he gets WAY too agitated!