The garden is pretty much in maintenance mode right now. The plants are looking pretty good and we avoided a hail storm that hit the area. A few of the mystery gourd/squash/pumpkins are resolving themselves. What looked like a delicata last week is looking more like one every day. The mystery pumpkin that is taking over the cucumber patch is a pumpkin, but I have no idea what kind. One of the mystery squash vines appears to be a banana squash. We had one of these last year so it is possible the seeds ended up in the compost, and then didn’t fully compost. Although these are a tasty and versatile squash, they can grow between 10 and 40 pounds. Ten pounds would be better for me.
This past weekend we were able to harvest our first Cherokee purple and chocolate stripe tomatoes. A number of the tomatoes this year are determinant varietals. I was under the impression they would only grow to maybe four feet tall, then blossom, and we would get fruit at about the same time. Well, a few of the plants are pushing seven feet tall and are continuing to blossom. Believing the plants would stay short, I planted them a bit closer together than other varieties and used regular tomato cages to keep them upright. Those few plants are now a few feet above the cages and very dense, even after substantial pruning. If the tomatoes on those plants do mature all at once, I will be overwhelmed with tomatoes because there is a huge number of fruits forming. I think, even after the requisite use in salads and such, that I will be able to experiment with making homemade bloody Mary mix and tomato soup. I am thinking of smoking a few of the tomatoes to see what that does to them and how that smokey flavor goes in soup and bloody Mary’s. I know the testing of recipes will be arduous, especially the homemade bloody Mary’s with homegrown horseradish, but don’t worry, I’ll power through.