As our garden wilts in the intense summer heat, the tomatoes thrive. The seedlings look so pitiful when we first transplant them. We tamp the earth gently around each one and say, “Good luck little tomato. Grow up big and strong.” It seems to work. Today there are lots of green tomatoes and the very first ripe ones. Eventually the vines will overrun the beds completely, giving us several hundred more tomatoes than we could possibly eat. Most will be frozen for later use. Tomatoes are incredibly useful in the kitchen, but I’m not half so fond of them as I am of the raspberries.
Sadly, raspberry season is slowing down. We missed picking for a few days while we were on vacation and found the bushes looking bedraggled. Still, we got a quart and a half of black raspberries as we cleaned them up today. There’s still more on the vine, but the end is in sight. Also, the Mac Black batch of raspberries is starting to ripen. It won’t be quite the bumper crop that Bristol was, but it will give us another 2-3 weeks of my favorite fruit.
Picked our last peas today and our first cucumber. Both were a little dry, but in the case of the cucumber, it at least heralds the beginning of a season, rather than the end. The pea vines were yanked and dropped into the chicken run. Honestly, the chickens will mostly ignore them, but what doesn’t get eaten will compost.
The end of each harvest season leads to something new. While there are some plantings that have never fruited, like the jostaberries and kiwis, others surprise us. Our earliest blueberries, Reka, look like they are just days from ripening. We only planted them this year and were not expecting berries for another year or two. Anything this year is a bonus.
What’s ripe this week in your garden?