I’m Kind of Picky

It is hot in central Massachusetts. It is even hotter in the mid-west. Some predict that 2022 will be the hottest year in the past 100 years. I like to think it will likely be the coolest year for the next hundred. But, this is not a political blog.

The heat has been doing the Food It Yourself garden good, though. I have had to water (responsibly) quite a bit this season. However, we have been harvesting plenty of stuff, and we have barely started tomato season.

I have been picking sprigs of various herbs as needed for cooking and tea. My current favorite thing to sip on is a tea made of edible chrysanthemum flowers, bee balm flowers, mint and lemon balm. Hydration is important in this heat, friends.

There is a string bean situation. I would be very happy that they have all ripened at once. I have been waiting for quite some time to try this canned pickled bean salad recipe. As demonstrated above, I have the beans and then some. However, in this heat I feel it would actually be hazardous to run a canner. Heat stroke is a medical emergency. I have a few pounds currently bagged up and ready to leave in the break room at work. If I can clear some space in the freezer, I’ll blanch and freeze some. I have been enjoying nibbling on them raw. I am also open to new and interesting recipe ideas, so feel free to leave recipes in the comments section.

As much as I am enjoying those wax beans, they are getting a little big to cohabitate with the ground cherries. Once I have picked the last of the wax beans, which will likely be this week, I will pull the plants and let the ground cherries have the raised bed. As members of the nightshade family, which also includes such heat-loving crops as eggplant and tomato, these physalis are thriving in the heat. I will definitely need help with recipes for these berries. Pretty please leave me some recipes in the comments section. Thank you.

Tomato season is just starting. I got a few cherry tomatoes from the front yard today. My Romas need a little work, though. There is some insect activity causing a bit of wilt. I trimmed off all the affected leaves. Lucky the Chicken was very helpful with this step. I used my second-best kitchen shears, as they are easier to clean than my pruners. After removing diseased plant parts always clean the tools you used. Otherwise, you will just contaminate everything else you use that tool on. For the same reason, do not put the trimmed off plant parts in your compost. These buggy bits will go to our town’s yard waste drop-off site. Yes the plants look a little naked, but they will be better off without the diseased leaves. I spritzed the plants with some neem oil to get rid of any hangers-on of the insect variety. I am really hoping the temperature will cooperate with the ripening of these tomatoes.

And behold! Pear Kun will produce fruit this summer. I am super excited for this. I can not wait to pick some schmancy fruit from my very own tree.

Picking what you have grown is a great joy. What are you picking from your garden? If it is still winter where you are, what crops performed the best for you last season? Share in the comments. It is not bragging if it is true.