Hot and First-y

Lots of firsts today in central New England. Many towns hit 90°F for the first time in 2017 today. Not coincidentally today is the first time I had to turn the sprinkler on the Food It Yourself Garden.

Over all, the garden is making good progress.  The snow peas and string beans are speeding towards productivity. I may plant a second crop early next week to ensure a continual supply. Much of the lettuce has sprouted. I am especially excited for the romaine variety I planted. Since I now have access to salmonella-free eggs I am dead set on making Caesar salad this summer. Three of the six zucchini I planted have sprouted. Since complaining about zucchini over production is one of my favorite summer activities I re-seeded the other three hills. On the positive side, though, one of those zucchini sprouts has its first true leaf! The seed shaped “leaves” that form a seedling are called cotyledons.

Even more exciting – the first blossoms have formed on some of our cherry tomato plants.  With today’s heat I bet all our tomato plants are feeling quite happy in deed!

And, for the first time since we planted our strawberry tower back in 2012 I was able to pick more than 2 ripe strawberries. My cat, Bonzai, caught a chipmunk last fall that had made it into the cellar. I think it was the pesky little guy that was stealing all my berries. I do not usually celebrate dead rodents in my kitchen, but it was worth it to get some Ozark Beauties!

Yes, someone has sampled a few of the berries. (Look at the big berry on the top of the pile!) It looks like snail or slug nibbles, which is to be expected given how wet this spring was. Not to worry, I have some friends who are very happy to finish what the invertebrates could not.

What benchmarks has your garden hit so far? What are you most excited to harvest? Share in the comments!