Busy Long Weekend

baby cucumber on vine

It was a busy but relaxing long weekend over the 4th. There were no major catastrophes to deal with, the deer seem to be staying out of the garden, regardless of whether that is because of the defensive measures we took or they finally moved on, and the monsoon rains have started, at least for last week. The one issue I did have to deal with was completely self-created – I punctured a main irrigation line while staking a fence and did not know that until I ran the water to check something else a little before leaving. Luckily I had all of the components for a repair and got it up and running in no time.

fresh picked peppers and tomatoes

We harvested the first non-cherry tomato over the weekend, the earliest we have harvested such a tomato. It is from what is labeled as a determinate tomato plant. My understanding of determinate tomatoes is that they grow to a certain size, then set the fruit at about the same time. These “determinate” tomato plants did stop growing, but we have everything from blossoms to almost ripe tomatoes on the plant. Oh well, the more the merrier.

banana squash blossom

The one issue I am having with the peppers is identifying them. I know, I know, I should both be able to identify them and I should have labeled them. As it turns out, unripe Aleppo peppers look remarkably similar to ready-to-pick shishito peppers. Now I have to leave a few on each plant to determine what they are. At least the super hot and fairly hot peppers look very different, otherwise that would add a whole new dimension to pepper roulette.

bottles of homemade gin

We also did something entirely new this past weekend. We made gin! No, not from a still (being arrested for being a bootlegger was not on last week’s calendar), but by flavoring vodka. It was from a kit and actually tastes quite good. Next I will have to find the homemade tonic recipe I found years ago but never made. Then I can have homemade gin with a homemade tonic made with herbs from the garden. I know, you’re shaking your head and wondering what cliff I am about to jump off next. Don’t worry, most others are too.


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