Gardener's Grapevine 2013.08.14

​The tomatoes are finally red and delicious. Many people I’ve talked to have had a slow season while others are doing quite well. We are slow because the Michigan monsoon season washed out some of our plants.

I love to eat fresh tomatoes in so many things, but two of my top favorites are BLTs on fresh bakery ciabatta bread; and sliced tomatoes with spicy sliced Italian salami, grated fresh parmesan cheese, and olive oil over it, sprinkled with coarse sea salt. It’s basically heaven on earth. 

The squash is going gang busters and as I’m writing this Art came in with green beans that look pretty nice. I’m thinking a nice supper of green beans and pork this week.

The apple tree is not doing so good at hanging on to her apples. I don’t see it as a huge issue, since it had so many the branches were hanging very low. A tree will drop its fruit to reduce stress on itself. We have a pear tree in the side yard doing the same thing.

These trees make mowing a longer job since the fruit has to be cleaned up first. It seems that in nature all things level out eventually. Where the yard had to be mowed at least weekly and sometimes twice a week a month ago, we haven’t had to mow in over two weeks. So the time spent cleaning up fruit is offsetting what we would have spent mowing in the off weeks. If the fruit was left to rot on the ground the bees would get awful, mowing would throw the rotten fruit everywhere, and more than likely it would end in bee stings for the person mowing.

Our daughter Jacquie and I were out of town with the baby this weekend, so Art and son-in-law Henry worked on our outdoor pizza oven which is going to produce the most wonderful pizzas. Art has been  dreaming of building this ever since I met him 30 years ago. We have seen them and even eaten pizza made in them, which is absolutely outstanding. There is a lot of concrete work in building a pizza oven just like in the old brick outside grills. We want to celebrate the birth of our grandson with a pizza party and cookout. Fresh tomatoes and basil fresh from the garden are awesome on homemade pizza.

Art and I always find new and interesting ways to use our garden’s bounty. We both read a lot of magazines, books and online articles with new ideas about growing and using food. I’ve never had anyone walk away from our table hungry, so we must be doing something right.

Enjoy your harvest and share with others not only your harvest, but your successful experiments with your harvest.