Saturday, July 24, 2010

BER, BW, and other disappointments

I find it hard to write about failure. In a season blessed with abundant sunshine, I have lost three crops, two of which I thought held great promise.

First there is the loss of the entire French melon crop. I had about 15 in various parts of the garden, and they fell prey to bacterial wilt spread by the dreaded cucumber beetle. These beetles also laid waste to my summer squash and, of course, my cucumbers. I DID manage to get something of a harvest from the cucumbers, but three days ago I pulled them up as well.

Also disappointing is the Blossom End Rot I am getting on my Italian Sweet tomatoes. I amended the soil with plenty of calcium early on ... but, alas, they are all black and rotten on the bottom. I was able to salvage some slices from the top of the fruit today, and I can attest that Italian Sweets are still my favorite tasting tomato. If only I could harvest a whole one.

On the bright side, not all of my tomatoes are Italian Sweets. The Better Boys will soon be tumbling in followed by the Big Zacs, the Brandywine, and the Boxcar Willies. And the green beans are prolific.

Well THIS looks like a perfectly ripened tomato .... BUT ....

underneath is the dreaded BER

Thursday, July 01, 2010

The Writer's Almanac comes through again

I am not a fan of growing potatoes, but Hunter swears they taste better from the garden. So he has a bin a the back of the garden this year. They take up bed space when I could be growing melons or tomatoes.

Well today's poem is for those of you who love the potato

In Praise of the Potato

by David Williams

Potato, sojourner north, first sprung
from the flanks of volcanoes, plainspoken kin

to bright chili and deadly nightshade,
sleek eggplant and hairy tobacco,

we could live on you alone if we had to,
and scorched-earth marauders never bothered you much.

I love you because your body's a stem,
your eyes sprout, and you're not in the Bible,

and if we did not eat your strength,
you'd drive it up, into a flower.

"In Praise of the Potato" by David Williams, from Traveling Mercies. © Alice James Books, 1993. Reprinted with permission.

And in case youy missed it last year