Tag Archives: porter tomatoes

Welcome 2010

 I know I have complained about the weather a lot this past year.  But, it really has been difficult.  I wanted you to read an email I received from a local CSA, Barking Cat Farm (so you wouldn’t think it was just me, hehe).  They and many farmers here in Texas, and across the country had a very difficult year.   We need  to support our local farmers.  Farming is hard work, even in a “good” year.

Hi Folks,

It has been a very long while since we sent out an update. In fact the last update we sent to the whole list was in July, 2009. A lot has happened since then, so we thought we’d tell you what’s been going on and give you an update on our plans for 2010.

2009 or “The Year it Rained Too Much”

2009 was a disaster for us and many other farmers across the country. In our area, we & others had complete crop losses due to the excessive rain. We also know of at least one local CSA that went out of business due to the incredibly bad weather. In the NE part of the US, too much rain was also an issue as well as a large outbreak of late blight spread accidentally by big box stores to commercial growers.

If you are farming, you are at the mercy of the weather. We do plan ahead for problems, but this last year was overwhelming and there was really little that we could do. First we had a late freeze in April that killed crops normally okay to plant by then (tomatoes, peppers), followed by heavy rains in May (preventing replanting of tomatoes, peppers, direct seeding squash, rotting the Akin potato crop in the ground), followed by scorching heat that lasted all summer (algae bloom in the pond that clogged the drip lines, killing blueberry bushes), and then record heavy rains in September & October (disrupting fall planting of broccoli, cabbage, carrots, beets, etc, wiping out the Akin Fall bean crop). The whole recap of 2009 is long and not included here.

So, I am thinking if they are willing to regroup and start again, then by golly, so am I.  Because to be honest, I am already dreaming of those wonderful homegrown tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, …  

  Yeah, I’m hooked.

I may not have the most successful, or most prolific, or most beautiful produce in my garden.  But, it is a source of joy, a stress reliever (most of the time) and a delicious hobby.  So, here’s to Gardening!!!!!!!!!!

Goodbye 2009 (and good riddance), Welcome 2010!!

 

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If You’re Gonna Plant a …

It really is too  hot to do anything but sit here and type.   I hope I  can find something to write about as the garden is in limbo.    Vegetables are growing,  but at such a slow pace.   I am tempted to go out and pull up everything  to get ready for Fall.  But then I’ll see a tomato or a pepper or better yet a cucumber and I decide to wait jussst a little longer.

I have learned a lot this growing season.  Mostly what NOT to do next year.  Here are a few decisions I have made.

I won’t be planting anymore Green tomatoes.  I’m sorry but it’s too hard to tell when they are ready to eat.  AND I believe I prefer the red ones.  My space is too limited to plant something I don’t really LOVE.

If you are gonna plant a hot pepper plant, plant a variety that is HOT.  I planted some TAM jalapeno plants which were very  mild.  I thought this was a great idea,  (jalapeno flavor without all the heat) but they were pretty much like a sweet pepper.

And IF you plant a hot pepper plant, seriously consider how many you really need.  For me, probably one plant.  (Note to self: please remember this in Jan. when you go wild with the seed buying)

When planting cucumbers plant only one variety.  This way when the vines start to grow into their neighbor’s area,  yikes!  it won’t be necessary to figure out which variety is which. 

Never buy seed from the local feed store where it has been sitting  for God knows how long.  ( I was desperate for Purple Hull Peas and my normal supplier was OUT) I could definitely tell the difference in quality.

Do plant lettuces  early and frequently to have a continuous supply.

Do plan ahead how you are going to utilize all that bounty.   Man cannot live by salsa alone.   Well, maybe.

I also realized I am going to need to build up my beds EVEN MORE with excellent composted soil.  I think for me, raised beds are the way to go.

So, here is the last of the Porter tomatoes, a few cucumbers and my beloved purple hull peas.

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While I may not be ready to say goodbye to summer, I am ready to say goodbye to 100+ temperatures.<a title=”Cucumber on Foodista”

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