2012 Garden Status Report 2

Cilantro making some coriander seed for us, and the fennel still hasn’t gone to seed. Something we’re going to save for pizza sauce.

The summer presses on, but the garden has been moving slower than normal because of the dry weather. Last weekend’s rain seems to have given things a boost, so we’re hoping to have tomatoes ripening this week. Most of our garden went in late this year, so we’re a couple weeks behind.

However, some of our pumpkins are already ripe. Some Rouge Vif D’Etampes, or cinderella pumpkins decided to seed themselves where we dumped the leftover pumpkins last fall, and they’re ready a little early. All of our other pumpkins, the carving and sweet sugar pie pumpkins (the little guys), are still green. The cinderellas are good to eat too though, so we’ll be making some pumpkin based dishes soon.

I love the way the pickling cukes hold on to the string we put up for them.

Our little onion patch is going strong this year. Last year it was mostly washed away by heavy spring rains, so to have more than a dozen onions is an improvement. I think we’ve got a couple hundred this year.

We have three Cream of Saskatchewan watermelon plants with a melon on each one that we’re looking forward to. Our favourite watermelon is the sugar baby which we didn’t have a chance to plant this year. It’s a small, dark one. If you spot one at a farmer’s market or grocery store, and it’s sweet, save the seeds! It’s not a hybrid.

I’ve been staking and suckering our tomatoes this year. However I let some of the suckers get a little out of hand. So I like to call them “semi-staked”. I just want to keep the fruit off of the ground this year, so I’m tying them and loosely tying any other branches to the stake to give the fruit some breathing room.

Our peppers are growing well, but it’ll be a while until they turn red. Last year about half of our jalapeños turned red before we were forced to harvest, so hopefully a few more ripen all the way this year. The Jimmy Nardello sweet peppers (pictured above) are our absolute favourite. They’re easily five times sweeter than any red pepper you’ve eaten before.

And lastly, hidden in an overgrown corner are the hops. They’re producing lots of cones this year which I won’t be able to use yet. I’ve harvested and threshed our barley, so next year is the year I hope to try my hand at home brewing.

Any day now we’re going to have more tomatoes and peppers than we know what to do with. Well, we do know what to do with them–preserve!

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