Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.
It's about to be lemon cucumber season again at my house, and as always, it snuck up on me. I'd seen oodles of blooms for weeks, but no sign of fruit when I peered through the big leaves and pawed my way past their bristly stems. But once I caught sight of the first one, there was the second, and another and another.
My tomatoes are the same way, since I fell behind in my trimming chores, so now it's like playing twister in a jungle to get to them. The plants are nearly over my head, but the fruits are low hanging and cunningly hidden. I head off on my expedition because I catch a glimpse of one red tomato beckoning in the back row. I stretch in to grab it, only to find a whopping great tomato I had no idea was there. It's a Mortgage Lifter, living up to its name. And next to it, a golden yellow heavyweight. After nearly standing on my head, I catch sight of another big burgundy bruiser.
For me, this hasn't been a big tomato year, but it has been the year of the big tomato, maybe because they've been so well concealed on the vines they've had more time to get enormous. They're not winning any prizes in terms of looks, but they're surprisingly juicy and flavorful for something so big. The monster in the middle of the platter below weighed in at 1.25 pounds. But again, I have to wonder: How does something the size of a Nerf ball manage to evade my daily patrols? I guess that helps them escape the notice of marauding squirrels, too.
Clearly it's past time for me to get out the shears so I can find what's in my garden before the bunnies do.
What treasures are you uncovering in your garden?
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