The basil is coming in majestically and that means margherita pizza. Yum.
The key ingredient? Freshly snipped and chiffonaded ginormous basil (and homemade crust).
Stick that pizza on the grill, crack open a cold one, and enjoy the weekend.
Who could resist this orphaned Black Brandywine in a Slurpee cup?
Evidently this thing is something of an oddball. Not quite heirloom, not quite not. If the interweb is to be believed, Black Brandywine tomatoes are indeterminates that may exhibit both potato and regular leaves (evidence, evidently, of its uncertain roots) and “variable” flavor and texture.
We shall see.
To prune or not to prune?
In the past, POD’s allowed tomatoes to do their own crazy thing. (Largely because my tomatoes usually come down with early blight and need to be pruned dramatically out of necessity.) This year, however, this sucker is doing some modest experimental pruning.
First, determine if your tomato is a determinate or indeterminate.
This Isis Candy is an indeterminate — which means it’ll keep growing and growing (ideally). Which also means it may benefit from a little pruning. Chocolate Cherry, also planted on deck this year, is also an indeterminate; however, that one’s gonna’ be free to run wild.
NOTE: Determinate tomatoes are much more compact and produce most of their fruit in one glorious spurt. Some gardeners prune them modestly, some don’t. This year, POD’s keeping paws off the gold nugget, the only determinate on deck.
It was a decent idea, one supposes, to attempt to use tomato cages to support the Boothby Blonde’s and True Lemon’s growth. Unfortunately, there may be a reason they’re called “tomato cages” and not well, cucumber trellises.
Apparently, the slick metal rods don’t provide the inviting support that the cucumbers’ curly tentacles require. So, once again, yards of jute twine have been introduced.
These Boothby Blondes have been lifted and separated and her arms are already grabbing on to their new supports.
Any experts out there? Anyone who can tell me what kind of ailment this might be? I’ve visited all my usual diagnostic haunts but haven’t come up with anything terribly promising.
This chocolate cherry was planted in organic potting soil, augmented with a handful of worm casings and a couple of crushed eggshells. It has received near-weekly doses of water mixed with fish emulsion fertilizer and a couple servings of diluted milk.
Or, maybe it’s just damage from the gale-force winds and the chilly nights that the little blue deck has been enduring this month?
Should I lay off the weekly feeding? Should I feed them more? Should I stop obsessing and trust they’ll heal themselves? (Riiiight) Help!
It’s a necessary evil, thinning is. Last year two melons were housed in a single 5-gallon bucket. That didn’t work so well, honestly. Only 3 or 4 Minnesota Midgets made it onto the table. This year, given just how rootbound last year’s mildew-ridden corpses were, one plant will enjoy all 5-gallons of real estate. POD hopes this will encourage healthier root development and air flow around the leaves.
Because the roots of melons and cucumbers are very delicate, don’t pull the rejects from the soil — you may end up disturbing the surviving plants root system. So instead, carefully pinch the doomed seedlings off at the soil line.
But guess what! We have a mystery on our hands! So, two 5-gallon buckets of melons were planted. One bucket with Charentais (from seeds saved from a Culton Organics melon) and one bucket with Minnesota Midgets (from seeds purchased at least 4 years ago). One bucket sprouted four healthy seedlings (thinned to one) and the other bucket sprouted not a one.
Do you think POD labeled the buckets? Strangely, no. Do you think POD remembers which went where? Not so strangely, no. Whattya’ think? Will it be French or will it be American? Unwisely, POD seems to have lost/pitched the saved Charentais seeds and is disinclined to plant what may or may not be a second MN Midget. Make sense? Thoughts?
This recipe is one of those very special “what do we have in laying around the house that’s edible” recipes. Sound familiar?
In our case that included delicious turnips foraged from the Headhouse Farmers’ Market (grown by Weaver’s Way Farm), old potatoes, much older pearl onions, eggs, and POD-grown pepper cress (that needed to be yanked to make room for the thyme and chives that were also purchased on Sunday.)
Turnip Puree with Roasted Potatoes, Crispy Onions, and Slow-Poached Egg
Slow-Poached Egg (courtesy of David Chang’s Momofuku Cookbook)
Potatoes (while your eggs are poaching):
Turnips (while your potatoes are in the oven):
In case you were wondering what’s on deck:
With winds gusting up to 50 mph, this pot of gold got tied to its mast. It’s still blowing, but the tough guy just may pull through.