Saturday, June 28, 2008

You say tomato . . .

Here it is, the first full size, red ripe Brandywine tomato!  It is sitting on a pile of fingerling potatoes, and beside a jar of fresh mint sun tea.  The mint came from the beautiful mint bed pictured here.  Mint is such a great herb: it takes absolutely no care of any kind, and comes back year after year, bigger and better each time.   To me there is no better summertime drink than fresh mint steeped in the sun, with a touch of honey and lemon, poured over ice.  This mint bed came from a single spring of mint from a grocery store pack two years ago.  Mint sprigs root very easily; nab a piece from a friend's yard or from the store, and keep it in moist sand or other growing media until it takes root.  Keep it watered the first few months in the yard, and Ta Da! mint bed.

The birds already have pecked off all but two of the very few tiny apples we had on the trees.  The pears, however, which were thinned a few weeks back, are going great guns.  The squash has powdery mildew (white powder all over the tops of the leaves), and is starting to show some wear and tear.  It seems the problems with production (half developed squash starting to dry out and shrink from the blossom end) did stem from too little water to keep up with the exceptional heat and drought.  I doubt the plants will last more than a week or two more at the very most.  We have eaten quite a bit of squash, and I even got some in the freezer, so I guess I can let them go.  I need to decide what to put in their place, and when.

Finally, Bunnie, the biggest of the baby chickens, is starting to develop slightly curled, iridescent tail feathers.  I can no longer tell myself that this may be a female (pullet), but need to finally accept she is a he.  Now it's time to find him a new home.  We aren't holding out too much hope for Expresso either, but I can tell myself that this little one is a she, at least for another week.