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We finished up planting the garden the other day. In the ground are some tried and true performers – basil, jalapenos, cabbage and tomatoes. One more try with the tomatoes. The tomato blight of 2009 hit our garden head on. More than 90 tomato plants lost. We’ve planted a number of varieties of tomatoes this year including sauce tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and heirlooms. The heirlooms were a gift from our friend Mike Kokas at Upstate Farms. Mike and his wife Jan are the owners of a beautiful organic farm in Columbia County. They also do CSA shares and make three trips weekly to Manhattan to deliver wonderful produce to shareholders.
Some new “customers” in the garden this year are Culantro and Stevia. We’ll see how they like our location.
While we wait for our garden to grow, take a look at what we did harvest last year.
We planted a bunch of “stuff” the end of May. In June it rained – not just a bit, a whole lot’ta rain. Ark building type rain. We just hoped our vegetables would survive being continuously wet and cold. And then the sun came out a couple of weeks ago, not all the time mind you, but just enough to inspire the plants to open their flowers. So, here’s where things stand today – in the sunshine !
This year we decided to put down a ground cover and then mulch on top. A really good decision. The result is virtually no weeds. Years past our garden was always overcome with weeds ( we do not spray anything and there is never enough time to spend weeding ). We debated regarding the ground cover – did not want to use plastic – and decided on using a cloth or fabric variety. Our hope is to be able to re-use the cloth next year. Having the hay mulch on top keeps weeds from sprouting beneath and also may preserve some of the integrity of the cloth as well. We’ll see what happens. By the way, we needed to put the split firewood down on top to keep everything from blowing away – we’re in a windy spot !
Here’s a photo of some of last year’s tomato harvest. We planted about 90 tomato plants –
Brandywine ( a favorite ), Cherokee Purple, Georgia Peach, Yellow Pear, and Sweet 100.
We processed, canned or froze about 50 lbs of sauce and diced tomatoes.
Currently we’re working on selections for this year’s planting….. to be continued…..
once we choose !