All the plants have been doing very well this year despite the blistering heat of the past 5 days.
The herbs are doing well and the strawberries are growing nicely. Too bad we have two naughty squirrels that steal away all of our strawberries right before we're about to harvest them. Every strawberry except two have been taken away by Mr. and Mrs. Squirrel (or is it our backyard chipmunk?). Our cilantro crop is done for the year and is in the process of drying out to become coriander seed that we'll store and will last us (hopefully) until at least next spring (that combination of cumin, coriander, chili powder and garlic on any kind of meat is just killer).
We started out with four little cucumber plants that have quickly overtaken a significant portion of the garden plot. While we love cucumbers, we don't actually need 300 of them so does anyone have a great pickle recipe?
Three green bean plants grown in a pot are producing decent amounts of green beans and they just continue to flower and produce more. About a week ago, we decided we wanted more green beans so Ben and I (mostly Ben) got just a tiny bit carried away and planted a bunch more seeds in a row in front of our tomatoes. Well, so far, at least 7(!) new green bean plants have come up. That's OK because I could eat them everyday.
The pimiento plant from last year currently has at least 20 peppers growing on it and we have 3 more pimiento pepper plants flowering. By August we might have just as many peppers as cucumbers. Hopefully the neighbors can use some. I also have two Fresno pepper plants. They are so cute, as the peppers actually grow up towards the sky instead of down like every other kind of pepper.
Then there are the tomatoes, the crop that I'm most looking forward to. This year we have five heirloom varieties growing: Black Tula, Purple Cherokees, Mortgage Lifters, Mr. Stripey and, of course, the Long Island Special. Some people may think that a luxurious meal has to involve lobsters or cavier but, to me, there is nothing more luxurious than dining al fresco with two or three or four home-grown, vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes sliced and topped with a little olive oil, salt, freshly-cracked black pepper, basil fresh from the garden and shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Perfection in simplicity.
With all this produce to be harvested in the next month or two, I'm thinking maybe I should set Ben up in the cul de sac with a produce stand. Who needs a lemonade stand when you've got fresh, ripe, organic veggies?