My other two blogs have been getting more attention than this one recently. So what have I been doing this year so far (apart from writing elsewhere)?
I haven’t been doing much in the garden apart from collecting a few veggies as they appear. Our yellow button squash are by far the most productive thing and I’m keeping work colleagues well supplied as well as having plenty for personal consumption. However it’s the worst zucchini year I’ve had – but there have been plenty for our own use at home so I can’t complain.
Corn has been a failure with maybe only six half decent cobs being produced, however I’m hoping that the late sowing of the last of my seed may produce a bit more.
This season I tried purple beans for the first time and had a reasonable supply for a couple of months, but there haven’t been any to pick for a few days now and the plants are starting to shrivel up. I had a much better crop from my regular bean – the Lazy housewife, but again there has been little to pick recently. But those bushes are still very healthy looking so I might get some more out of them.
The plants I’ve been most concerned about are my tomatoes. They’ve had an abundance of fruit but it’s been very slow ripening. I’ve mentioned before that they were grown from seed given away with Burkes Back Yard magazine. Maybe the biggest disappointment has been one called Yellow Stuffing. They are refusing to ripen on the bush and so far I’ve seen only one fully ripe example – one I picked early and kept in the house for a couple of weeks.
I wasn’t impressed with the resulting fruit. It had hardly any flavour and was quite dry in comparison to the other varieties. If we had more ripe fruit to try we would put its name to the test. It is clearly a fruit created for stuffing, consisting mainly of a firm fleshy shell, hollow except for a small ball of seeds in the centre. It is very capsicum like in appearance.
Another type I’ve been able to pick is a large orange/red variety whose name has eluded me at the moment. It has a large pumpkin shape fruit. The ones that have ripened on the vine have been quite soft. I’m not sure whether that should be the case. I tend to get worried about soft tomatoes after a fruit fly infestation a couple of years ago. So far we seem to have avoided that problem – although I think I did see a fruit fly inspecting the fruit a few weeks ago. I also salvaged a couple of fallen fruit that were swarming with tiny little maggots. They were quickly dropped in a plastic bag and left in the sun for a couple of days.
Gloria has been making good use harvested tomatoes, using them in salads, on sandwiches and for a salsa-like creation for use on pasta. I’m only hoping she is being vigilant enough to notice the presence of grubs should they be in the fruit. But as the old saying goes, what we don’t know can’t hurt us and maybe the addition of a little protein to the vegetable pasta would add to the nutritional value.
I also planted a Black Russian tomato purchased from BigW – but the fruit from the plant has not been the right colour. It has remained a common red instead of the darker colour expected of a genuine Black Russian. Most of the fruit we’ve picked so far have been from this pseudo black Russian plant and most of it needed to be picked earlier than I’d like because the blackbirds quickly attack the red fruit.