July 23, 2010

tomatoes
Photo by Jessica Walliser

I may be jinxing myself, but as of this point, I have managed to escape the late blight-fest on my tomatoes. 

I’ve been using Serenade fungicide as a preventative and so far so good.  The weather has been a bit drier too so no doubt that has helped as well. 

My ‘Early Girls’ are the only ones that have ripened so far (though I certainly would not call them early by any means!).  Usually my cherry types are first, but not so this year.  In fact, I still am waiting for the first one.  I’m guessing by next week I’ll be up to my elbows in them. 

I haven’t been as religious about pruning off the suckers as I have been in other years.  As a result, the plants are more unruly than I’d like them to be, but other than that, they seem to be fairly healthy.  I’m sure the big old heirloom varieties will not ripen until August sometime but they are so worth the wait.

The peppers, too, have begun to set lots of fruit.  They should start to color up in a week or so as well.  Sounds like a good excuse for making salsa and margaritas.

We went to Belize about a dozen years ago and stayed in a beautiful lodge on a river in the jungle.  Since the nearest market was miles away, they had a huge, beautiful organic garden to feed all the guests. 

They practiced trench composting and had chicken manure from a ba-jillion free range chickens for fertilization, a cistern for watering and ducks for bad bug patrol. 

It was a very lovely, functional garden complete with bananas, maters, herbs, beans and lots of veggies I didn’t even recognize. 

While we were there, we had the most amazing fresh salsa I have ever tasted.  I went on and on to the staff about how good it was and the day we left, the chef came out of the kitchen with the hand written ‘recipe’ and gave it to me. 

I still have the scrap of file folder it is written on in my recipe file and every summer I enjoy making it and reminiscing about that long ago trip.

Funny how food can connect us with a moment in our lives.  I hope my son has ‘food memories’ too, as he grows.  And I hope it isn’t the avocado I forced him to try a few weeks ago.  Unfortunately, that would be a not-so-good ‘food memory’…. I have some of those too. 

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