Sunday, May 13, 2012

Garden is In!

Once my garden is plotted and planed and tilled and prepped the planting can begin.  Tomatoes that have been in the green house for a couple months are sensitive to the full sun and must be shaded for a few days to allow them the strength to face the full sun.  I have seen beautiful green plants turn pale and fry in an early Spring sun.
   It is a lot of bending and digging and working with my hands and my whole body aches!  But my garden is in and by May 13th, a full two weeks earlier than last year and they are not predicting the torrential Spring Rains we had last year.  This appears, so far, to be a great Tomato Season, much like it was three years ago when I got tomatoes by the wheel barrel load.  Wouldn't that be nice?  Being a farmer is a bit like going to Reno, a gamble every time.  The hot weather crops will do well or the cold weather crops, you can't have it both ways.
I plant both and after doing all I can to ensure a great season, pretty much hope for the best.
   I have tried corn again this season although last year it was pretty pathetic and didn't produce much.  In a good year it is my second favorite vegetable from the garden, next to my tomatoes which will always be King with me.  Corn needs to be "knee high by the Forth of July" here in Oregon to produce any yield at all.  In a good year you would swear the corn was grown in sugar!  Even bought from a local farmer it is just not the same as picked fresh from the garden.  Nothing is actually.  We have all had fresh home grown tomatoes and know there is no comparison to what you can buy from the store but carrots are the same way, they are supposed to be bursting with flavor!  Head lettuce has developed a bad reputation simply because the variety you get from the store has no flavor, but it shouldn't be that way.  A bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, that wonderful lunch of kings should always be made from fresh head lettuce right out of the garden.
   I could go on and on about my tomatoes!  I  baby them from the beginning, saving the seeds from year to year and planting the dark, almost black heirloom varieties which can grow over seven feet tall.  Oh, I plant the big red ones too, the brandy wines and beef stakes and huge two pound yellow ones, but the deep red, purplish black have the most flavor and I plant most of these.  Different colors are different flavors and are great in salads and any kind of cooking but my very favorite is dried tomatoes, dried to the point of potato chips.  These can be rehydrated with olive oil and a balsam vinegar or added to soups but my very favorite is a simple tomato chip with a bit of cheese on a cracker.  It is a burst of flavor like you wouldn't believe!  Store bought dried tomatoes are not the same because they use the same flavorless varieties sold in the stores.
   So, what is in my garden this year?   Here is the list:

                                                         25 Tomato Plants
                                                         short row of potatoes (same family as tomatoes!)
                                                         Peppers, about 20 plants
                                                         Green Beans
                                                         Brussel Sprouts
                                                         Lettuce (several varieties)
                                                         Leeks, Onions and Green Onions
                                                         Cucumbers, three varieties
                                                         Zucchini, Yellow Crook Neck
                                                         Two varieties of Winter Squash
                                                         and here and there, like a painter gone mad, Sun Flowers!

There are actually flowers all over, everywhere in my garden, some in the ground along the paths and others in pots at the Garden Entry and at the very back of my garden.  I probably have 30 five gallon sized flower pots scattered here and there in and around my garden, some on the ground and others sitting proudly seven feet in the air.  My garden is my best canvas and like any good artist I will intend your vision, your experience while there.
    Soil preparation was the earlier blog if you missed it.



CrimsonLeaves said...

Its going to be fabulous Jerry! Hope you'll share pics again too.

SooZeQue said...

Lucky you to have the patience to grow so much. It sounds like it is gonna be fantastic. It takes a lot of back pain to get that all done - that's why I don't do it. My Chiropractor all ready makes too much money off of me and my aching neck!

Barbra Joan said...

Oh Jerry, you are just dancing with joy... Hooray !!!!
THE garden is in.. hugs BJ