Friday, August 14, 2009

After 8 days away

Returning from a summer vacation is always interesting for a gardener, but yesterday I was in absolute suspense as we drove home. What would I find? Would there still be a garden? What disasters would woodchucks have wrought?

Yes, there was still a garden. Yes, there were still carrot tops, although they had been nibbled. One could see where the lettuce should be, although nothing worth eating had been left. Oh, well. We had had two fine weeks of lettuce salads before we left, and we would soon show those woodchucks again whose territory this is. Last time it took about ten days until we had decent lettuce again.

Only two of the five "early" plants zuchinni had died, although August 8 is the traditional date of zucchini death. The other three are still bearing, as are the five that I started in June. We have plenty of zucchini.

The cucumbers are still doing their thing. Wow! What a year for cucumbers! They like this rain.

Our neighbors had been kindly picking our slightly red large tomatoes while we were gone at our request. I had lost too many to marauders earlier. We had a delicious large tomato with our zucchini the first dinner of our return.
Then I noticed disaster. The eggplants had been attacked! A huge waistline was chewed around one, and two others were shorted radically. I had been planning on lots of eggplant this winter to substitute for peas and beans, but... I must accelerate my freezing of the Malabar spinach and pesto, it seems. Both Malabar and basil are thriving. It then occurred to me that Fred and I could eat what was left of the three traumatized eggplants. I made homemade tomato sauce from the tomatoes the neighbors had preserved and cut out the surviving eggplant pieces. We agreed that dinner was delicious this evening. Eggplant won't be as plentiful this winter as I planned, but with renewed territory marking, we will have some. The little ones are trying.

We ate well on vacation (our hosts know our preferences), but it's good gastronomically to be home!


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