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From The Garden Plot: Jungle in There!
Features - The Home Farmer
Written by Alicia Ghio   

What a difference a couple of weeks make! Things have literally exploded in the garden!


We now have what I am calling a tomato and tomatillo jungle. Plus, eggplants are on their way, cayenne peppers are turning red and sweet peppers are coming to life. Oh, and did I mention, we’re starting to harvest more than just kale! Yes, we are truly, finally, enjoying the bounty of our garden.

While I love all the vegetables I planted, I was most eagerly awaiting the tomatillos. Let me tell you, they did not disappoint. They are wonderfully crisp and tart. Together with an onion and hot pepper from the garden we were able to make a small batch osalsa cruda de tomatillo. And yes, I did beam with pride as we ate it.

Then, as if on cue, bunches of small rich yellow colored pear tomatoes peered at me through the fence. This was another thing I had been waiting all summer to do; eat a tomato right off the vine. Oh, the sweetness. Lunch that day was a fresh tomato and parsley salad. My mother told me that when I was little she never had too much trouble getting me to eat my vegetables, well, give or take a few things I still won’t eat to this day. According to the grapevine, my young garden challenger now is the same way. In fact, I’m told Jenna just wants to pick and eat things straight out of the garden. She even likes the raw Brussels sprouts. A 4-year old who wants to eat her vegetables. That’s a beautiful thing!

Like me, Jenna has run into her fair share of garden tribulations. Currently, she is battling white flies on the tomato plants. I suggested spraying Safer soap, which is OMRI Listed as compliant for use in organic gardening.Ups and DownsGardening is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. For a few weeks it felt like a constant battle. I was down in the dumps, wondering if I would ever get anything out of the garden. Now, I feel on top of the world. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like the garden can entirely sustain us, but I’m proud to say we are in part feeding ourselves with ingredients we grew ourselves.

What’s next? Well, who knows what curve ball mother nature will throw my way. All I know is that right now I want to savor my successes. In fact, I’m smiling because in our “harvest basket” sits a cucumber, tomatoes, tomatillos, onions and a flaming red cayenne pepper.



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