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Landmark event! Last night – July 14 - we ate the first ripe tomato from our food garden. A great big Cherokee Purple. Still warm from the sun, not too ripe. I chopped it up and tossed it raw into some simple eggplant pasta (dressed only in our own basil pesto). I’m also having it leftover for lunch today.
To mark the event, here’s a quick garden update: The squashes are all full-on now. We pick lots every day, so lots go to work with us for colleagues, and I leave bags of it with the neighbors. I started nibbling the first green beans last week (I prefer them raw, Todd likes them steamed). The first green peppers are almost ready to pick.
We’ve been getting delicious Japanese eggplant for weeks, and some went into last night’s pasta. The tomatoes are on the vines, and have begun to ripen. It looks like we’ll be inundated with sweet cherry tomatoes again this year. We have tiny cucumbers, which means within a week or so, we’ll be picking fresh cucumbers for salads and cucumber water. The white eggplants are still small, so give them time.
The hot peppers are getting big and plentiful, and I added an Ancho chili pepper to some yellow squash and made a nice pasta topping with a spicy kick. The Tulsi (holy basil) is ready to harvest. I should have planted a second crop. Second and third crops of Italian parsley and basil are popping up. Watermelon and cantaloupe are moving along slowly. I don’t know how much hope I have for either.
Beets are almost ready to harvest. I eat the greens as well as the beet. Sauté the greens with a little olive oil. I even add them raw to salads. In other words, eat all of the plant, because it’s all good.
The tomatillos have flowers all over, so I think we’ll have the purple fruits ready for fresh salsa by mid-August. And the peaches are getting bigger. Some developed a rot that did them in, but most are doing well.
I’m thinking a garden-fresh, purple tomatillo/peach salsa. And if there’s enough for canning, we’ll have it for the start of the football season.