Dear Friends and Gardeners, Week 19

I am good at growing fruit. I am good at growing fruit. I am good at growing fruit.

I am not so good at growing vegetables. At least not this year.

Its a good thing tomatoes are a fruit. Mine are coming along nicely, thanks. Hey Indy! How are YOUR tomatoes? Remember, I had my first two Sungold cherry tomatoes on July 7th. Not the 4th, but the 7th and that’s good by me. Yes, they were perfect and yes, they were tasty. I picked another one today. Just one, but it was delicious and ripe.

All the rain, the cool weather, all the things I am doing the happy dance about are not doing me any favors in the veg garden. My green beans are about 6 inches high. Still. Since last week. I am singing a new tune around here, and it goes like this: Support your local farmer. The good news is, I have my CSA subscription to look forward to each week. The girl farmers seem to be having a little better luck than I am.

To top it all off, someone is having a picnic in my garden, on my garden and chewing the daylights out of stuff. I’ve seen some big grasshoppers of late, the earwigs are running amok, and it appears the black vine weevils are making merry. I discovered a praying mantis today and told him/her to get busy.

The good news is, I have a dozen almost-ripe apricots. Still harvesting raspberries every day. The alpine strawberries are coming in again, and though I need to divide the crowns, it is going to be hot here later in the week so I am going to wait awhile. I have apples on the apple espaliers. And tomatoes. I have lots of green tomatoes, of every type and size, and someday soon, I hope they will be ripe.

I did place my order (early) for pickling cucumbers. They probably won’t be really ready for another couple of weeks, but its good to be first in line. I’ve been buying 20 pound batches of cucumbers from a local farmer for years. I pay extra for the little bitty ones that make super-crunchy baby dills. Truly a labor of love but they make the best gifts and its great to open the jars as the winter wears on. Later, I’ll get another 20 pounds for the bread and butters.

Short and sweet, that’s the report from Ranch du Bois this week. Hang in there Dee, I know the heat is making you miserable. Indy, I get a real sense of EGG from your letter. Egregious Garden Gloating. At least one of us is having some success this season. How are those rabbits?