Another garden update, how shocking. I'm just enjoying the puttering and watching and green-ness so much.
Thing the first: the stargazer lilies are just about to pop. One stalk has quite small buds, but I'm not going to complain on its first season after confinement in a plastic bag on the store shelf.
Thing the second: the Doone Valley thyme is establishing well and has started to creep. I would love for this to completely fill this planter that the curly willow resides in. It's more of a groundcover thyme than a culinary thyme, since it stays small, but it has beautiful pinky-lavender flowers.
Thing the third: My 2015 garlic harvest is complete. Ha! This is a scrawny clove that sprouted in my kitchen before I could use it, so I stuck it in one of the planter barrels and ignored it. I had no real hopes for it, but lookie here- I got a little bulb of seven cloves! I'll definitely be planting more in the fall, to harvest next year.
Thing the fourth is the main point of this post: the garden annexes.
The Tomato Annex has exploded with growth. Four of the plants are now officially taller than me, and the others aren't far behind.
AND, today I got the first ripe tomatoes from the Tomato Annex!
These are on one of the mystery heirloom plants that I got off Freecycle in May. I don't know the variety, but they're very vigorous plants, and have good sized tomatoes.
Thumbs up for tomatoes! Yay!
Here's a shot of the sucker I stuck in the ground to replace the Oregon Spring tomato that never really grew. Five weeks in the ground, and it's now waist-high and has itty-bitty fruits.
While I was weeding this afternoon, I discovered something funny. The north end of the Tomato Annex is still a compost pile, where I've been tossing all the weedings and prunings.
Shortly after I planted my tomatoes, I discovered that a potato had sprouted in the compost pile; it's the bushy viney thing toward the front in that picture. Today I discovered something more.
Those are volunteer tomato seedlings. I'm pretty sure that those are volunteers from the seed bank in the compost pile, since they're so small. Three little sprouts.
These, however, are not volunteers from the compost.
Those five sproutlets are suckers that I pruned off my plants last weekend and tossed on the compost pile. I dug them up to see because I couldn't believe it, and they all still have the broken-off stem end where I snapped them off the parent plant. I didn't bury them or do anything except toss them over there. They rooted themselves before they dried out!
I'm a little frightened at the power of this compost pile and these tomato plants. :-P Wonder if they'll have time to set any fruit?
In the Basil Annex, it was time to harvest again. You may notice that there are five more plants in here now- I rooted some cuttings a couple weeks ago and stuck them in the ground. I figured that since I'm keeping the plants trimmed and harvested, they don't need so much room between them.
So here's before:
And here's after. I think this is the sixth or seventh time I've harvested this amount from these plants.
In the Cucumber Annex, there were two cukes waiting for me. And perhaps it wasn't the deer that were nibbling my stevia plant? A turkey left a feather.
So here's today's harvest from the garden annex. Yum!
I decided to just freeze the basil plain, since I don't have the other ingredients for pesto in the house right now. I got six quarts of washed and picked leaves...
...which became about a pint and a half of finely chopped basil and olive oil. I put in a quart ziplock, flattened out the air, and stashed it in the freezer. Because of the oil, it doesn't freeze super hard, so I can cut off what I need for a recipe.
And now...now for the best part. I have tomatoes and cucumbers ripe at the same time. It's SAMMICH TIME!
I haven't had a BCT (bacon, cucumber, and tomato) sandwich for eleven years. The last time was in 2004, with my mom, with produce from her garden. That trip was the last time I was with Mom in person before her car accident the following spring. I just went back and looked through my photos from that trip and coincidentally, it has been eleven years to the day from when we had those sandwiches, on the last full day of that trip in Maine. Spooky.
BCT sandwiches are one of my favorite summer memories from days of yore. I would run out to the garden and grab the veggies while Mom made the bacon, and we would chow down. I remember Mom giggling when the tomato juice ran down her chin. Making a BCT with store veggies was unthinkable. Perhaps Farmer's Market produce would suffice, but really, there's no beating a sandwich made with produce less than 10 minutes from the garden, with the tomato still warm from the sun.
Oh yes. That's what I've been waiting for.