Thursday, June 23, 2011

Growin' stuff...

Grape tomatoes
Having been raised in the south, I feel like it's mandatory that I grow tomatoes in the summer. Of course, where I live, you gotta get the plants in the ground in late February or early March. By the time summer officially rolls around, it's too dang hot for blossoms to set. Luckily, I planted on time this year, and have enjoyed the actual fruits of my labor.

This year I planted two grape tomato plants, one Roma tomato plant, one Beefsteak tomato plant, and one that is supposedly cherry tomatoes. We got a few Romas, but not many, and the plant didn't do well. It was behind the Beefsteak plant, which blocked a lot of the morning sun. I didn't expect the Beefsteak plant to grow so crazy big! Most of the Beefsteaks cracked on the vine, but we've had some delicious BLT's from them. The grape tomatoes never disappoint... they always produce with little trouble.

"Cherry" tomatoes
Beefsteak tomatoes
The cherry tomatoes though.... I THOUGHT I got the same variety that I have in the past, but I've never had cherry tomatoes grow so big! They're smaller than, say, a patio tomato, but bigger than regular cherry or grape tomatoes. They are damn good though, and make a fine fresh sauce for pasta.

I also planted two eggplant... uh... plants and one Gypsy pepper. One of the eggplants didn't make it. The other one has given us several delicious eggplants!

So... from all this deliciousness, there have been a couple nights that I was able to make bowtie pasta with a sauce of tomatoes, eggplant, pepper and basil straight from the garden. Yum!

Unfortunately, we've been having quite a spell of really hot weather, and it's taking it's toll on the plants. The tomato vines are getting really brown, and our basil is pretty shriveled. Happily, the pepper and eggplant are still putting out blossoms. Fingers crossed they'll set and produce more edible treasures!

Maybe it's just me, but truly fresh-picked produce always tastes WAY better than that commercial grocery store stuff.

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