Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Adopt a Crop 2010 : Melons! The normalish kind.

Hi, it's been a while since I did the gardeningblahblahblah. Especially in relation to the Adopt a Crop thing, which if you'll recall, had something to do with melons that look like space alien STDs or something.

You remember.

Well, let me first tell you that this post doesn't contain any photos of STD-reminiscent melons. And, while you may be relieved by that news, I am not. Because the lack of such things means that these fucked up looking melons, which I was so keen to grow, taste and taunt you with, are probably not going to see the light of day or flash from my camera this year. Because it's September and the "hottest" part of the summer is likely behind us, so the likelihood that these things are going to get inspired and produce a spiny looking whatthefuckisthat is pretty slim.

Thankfully, however, the plant is vaguely pretty and it's climbing the little cage I gave it for recreation (it's at least a bit athletic, which I like), so I feel like it could have a chance of producing in future years when we don't have the coldest summer in 40 years of recorded history.

Ignore our WT bbq back there. Just look at the pretty melon plant.

Have I told you yet that this has been a cold summer? Because it has. Not that I'm complaining of course, since we live in a house older than my oldest relative that is charmingly sans-air conditioning, so burning hot summers aren't really high on my wish list except that it means that at least we'll be able to ripen some melons and produce a second big wave of tomatoes.

Ix-nay on the econd-say wave of omatoes-tay, too, by the way. And, wow, since when do I lapse into pig latin? Sometimes I can be so retarded.

Anyway, no African Horned Cucumber Jelly Melons to show you. Even though I'd love to freak you guys out with them at this point.

Also, no big second wave of tomatoes to report on, though I'm still holding out hope we'll get some good ones off the three plants and MAYBE if I wish really hard and cross all my digits, I'll pull a 2 pounder off the Brandywine (what I'm assuming the "Black Krim" turned out to be. Nursery liars.) as that is my amended Garden Wish of 2010.

I think my initial wish had something to do with throwing horned melons at the annoying neighbor kids (WHY MUST THEY SCREAM LIKE THAT? THEY'RE BOYS AND THEY SOUND LIKE TRANNY MONKEYS.), but I can't abide throwing precious tomatoes at them, so it appears they are safe from my produce throwing for one more year.

They should feel lucky that I don't grow squash because HOLY I'd lob one of those across the street without a second thought. Fuckers grow so fast and all.

So, since I don't have any horny melons to show you, how about I instead show you the most recent conquest out of the garden? Yes? You like that? Thought so.

Also, please enjoy this super ugly picture of me. It was hot and sweaty and my head is round like a god damned jack-o-lantern.

There's just something about producing a 17 pound melon that makes me feel accomplished as a gardener. I mean, that is a significant fraction of my own body weight and it tastes like a god damned dream, unlike that fraction of my own body weight which I imagine tastes like Gardener Girl.

Butt dot

And since this time I sliced it open it was bright pink and delicious inside rather than pale pink and vaguely delicious inside, I feel like I've won the gardening lottery. And check out its butt dot. That, I believe, is the "moon" in the "Moon and Stars" variety. Let's call the little dots, "stars" and call it a day, then.

I mean, "Moon".

We haven't taken the box top off to see if one of them has grown into a square yet, but know that you'll be sort of the first to know. You know what I mean - there's my mom and the neighbors and Facebook to be informed first, and since I'm not the only one controlling the media event around the square watermelon (Bubba's a watermelon blabbermouth), I can't make any real promises. Apologies.

So, that's your normalish melon report. The rattlesnake watermelons, which were momentarily looking promising, have succumbed to some sort of unidentified garden muncher, so the two prospects are now toast and I've stopped holding out hope for any more. Melon Fail #2.

RIP, little snake.

Rest of the garden, though? Well...

The beans are huge, putting on another crop and harboring vigilante bugs at the heights of the bean tower. I have left the giant garden spiders to contend with the bugs (I saw an evil cucumber beetle in there and a big spider was going right for it - awesome) since the garden's nearly coming to a close for the season/I can't reach up to those beans anyhow/I'm lazy and don't have enough jars to make anymore pickles anyway.

And there are a million more just like them under that canopy of leaves.

The cucumbers are fucking prolific and I have no idea what I'll do with the rest of the crop these two plants put out because I'm out of jars and there's no way I'm buying more.

Please enjoy my hodgepodge collection of remnant jars.

Meanwhile, I've canned a LOT of pickles so far this season and some of them were the Mexican Sour Gherkin ones, so the winner of the upcoming Adopt a Crop giveaway will get these crazy ass looking pickles instead of *something* made from the nonexistent African Horned Cucumber Jelly Melon. Just so you know.

The tomatoes are doing AOK, even after being stripped clean on multiple occasions to satisfy my need for canning, sauce making, tomato salad eating, sandwich stacking and gird your loins vacuum sealing.

Gird them!

Yes, friends, I finally bought a vacuum sealer after all these years of people asking me why I, "of all people", don't have one. Well, now I, "of all people", have a vacuum sealer and vacuumed tomatoes AND a chesty with a few bags of frozen tomatoes for winter to go with the manyMANY jars of canned tomatoes in the cupboard. I know there are tomato shortages going on all over the place in this fine state of mine, but the shortages stop at my doorstep. We are mostly full on tomatoes.

Yet still, I long for more.

Well, then, how about the tomatillos? They're OK. They produced enough for me to make about half a dozen pints of Salsa Verde and that's really all I imagined I would get, so we're square - the tomatillos and I. Of course, the plant that remains of the pair (one totally croaked and had to be pulled) is putting fruitless effort into producing blooms because it does not have a Two with which to Tomatillo, as previously reported as necessary for fruit production.

Get all that? Basically, tomatillo production is done, so we can just be grateful for the Salsa Verde you see here. Which also included all the paltry few jalapenos produced from the poor jalapeno plant which was summarily lost in the jungle of Brandywine tomato.

And that about does it for the garden update. At least vegetable-wise. I figure we've got about a month and a half before I have to seriously consider taking down the garden and putting it to bed for winter, during which time I will also knock over the potato tire tower and see what the hell's going on in there. For now, it's half alive and half dead and the plant changes its mind on which half is alive and which is dead on a bi-weekly basis, so giving you an update is nearly pointless.

If we get a single potato out of this thing, I'll be pleased. If it's not chock full of potato cooties, I'll be ecstatic.

Everything else is pretty much resting. The fruit trees; apple, cherry, kumquat, lime and lemon, are all in some form of either blooming (citrus) or lying about (cherry, apple) and that is AOK with me. I don't need any more mouths to feed right now.

And I'm getting ready to put in my order for a brand newly built beehive. Which doesn't have anything to do with THIS year's Adopt a Crop, but if I don't manage to fuck everything up, it will hopefully have a LOT to do with next year's.

Fingers crossing, people - fingers crossing.

Oh, and I've updated the garden tracker, so go rest your eyes on those numbers, my friends. No $64 tomato around these parts.


  1. In attempt #2 to make Finny proud I tried to do homemade tomato sauce. You can see where that went horribly wrong. (http://strandupdate.blogspot.com/2010/09/time-bunch-of-tomatoes-kicked-my-ass.html) Thankfully, my burns are much better today. :/

  2. Nice melon and smokin' hot hat!!

  3. I am totally on the edge of my seat for the potato gardenblahblah post.

    Not even kidding. I really want to know what those bastards are up to in those tires. No good, probably.

    Plus, the watermelon reveal! Will it be square? Will it be ripe? Will Finny quit her job to grow square watermelons that Bubba will then sell at the farmers markets for a thousand dollars apiece?

    The suspense is why I come here.

  4. i'm totally enamored with all of this produce, canning, freezing... and i thought the only thing that could make me swoon was a man with a scottish accent!
    i made the salsa verde but i broiled the peppers, tomatillos and onion in the oven for a bit until they started to blacken a little and THEN did the rest.. i liked it better that way. i used it to make some rockin' chile verde! thanks for the inspiration.

  5. Mmmm, that watermelon looks tasty! And I'm looking forward to the update on the potatoes, too. Also yay for vacuum sealers! We have one and I adore it. Do you have the mason jar attachment? When I'm on top of things I vacuum out my mason jars after I fill them with dry goods (especially the whole spices) and anything I plan to freeze. It's supposed to keep them fresher a bit longer.

  6. God, I know I'm a broken record, but how I wish I were your neighbor. I want to learn how to do all of this stuff from you Fin! You are such a hero!

  7. Hey, nice blog you have here! Keep up the excellent work!
    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

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  8. Fresh cucumbers sliced thin, Greek yogurt, red onion sliced thin, and a pile of dill. Om nom nom


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

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