Sep 24, 2008

Cantaloupe at last...or...the Mighty Muskmelon!!

I have tried for years to grow melons, with no luck . This year I put a few seeds in the ground near my living room wall just because the space was there and some new mulch-y compost was there. I didn't even water regularly. I just let the vines grow and was thrilled that the seeds I had saved from last seasons Farmers Market Muskmelon germinated. What a kick I got when I spied my very first melon out there about a month ago!! Even better was when I realised there were actually 3 melons growing strong. Then I was tickled pink when I found 3 more baseball sized babies hiding in the vines under the un-mown grass . Now it is late for melons so I picked the last 3 little guys and made sweet pickle chunks from them(I will put up a recipe for them if they turn out to be any good) and the oldest of the remaining melons was picked today I was totally surprised by the flavor. I was not expecting it to have fully ripened....but it did!! Sweet, but not too sweet , and so juicy it was almost like drinking and eating all at once. I can not wait to try again next year. Of course if I actually put effort into it, I probably wont get any melons....go figure.

Sep 9, 2008

Tomatoes on Parade 2008

Here are the long awaited tomato reviews for the 2008 season.

It was one of 'those' years for tomatoes in my yard. While my plants stayed pretty healthy for the most part, my production was a little sporadic. I guess in retrospect , if I take into consideration the cool weather in August,and the frigid month of May,it was an okay to good year. Not all years can be as productive as last year was.

So, without further ado, the Tomatoes of 2008!

Top row from left: Campari F2, X pollination result saladette type, Mr. Stripey.

Bottom row from left: Olena Ukrainian, Aunt Ruby's German Green, small Cherokee Purple.

The following is taken from my notes which are jotted down as I go through the season.

Mr. Stripey- A tiny tad better than store bought,but that's about it. I would normally give a second season to a dud but not this one. Out of all my plants this one just flopped,health and taste wise. The fruits were misshaped and bland. The ones pictured were on the small side, some had grown larger.

Golden Girl- Was a better last year, but still tasty in a sandwich.

Cherokee Purple- Good sized purple beefsteak shaped tomatoes. I was not impressed with the first tomato of the season, but after that I became a Cherokee Purple fan. They were juicy and sweet with velvety smooth meat. Just thinking about it and I want a tomato sandwich!

Campari F2- Red round golf ball sized fruits. Prolific plant. The skin on this one is a bit thick, but the juicy sweetness of the fruit makes up for it. Excellent for store saved seeds.

Aunt Ruby's German Green- Large Green beefsteaks in the 3/4 pound to
1 +1/2 pound range. When it is ripe it is a beautiful gold hued green with a star burst blush of pink radiating from the blossom end . Some of that pink is visible inside as well, which makes this tomato as visually appealing as it is flavorful. The flavor is outstanding! It is tomatoe-y and sweet very complex and the meat is dense and juicy. This is a definite keeper.

Olena Ukrainian- Visually stunning. However too mild for my taste. It is very dense though,and makes good sauce. So while I was disappointed in it as a fresh variety, it makes a good cooking tomato.

Sun Sugar- Extremely productive cherry. The plant grows like a monster. Fruits are sweet as sugar and a great snacker. Mine cracked after even a little rain. But there is so much fruit on it that it really didn't bother me.

?- This was a volunteer and a cross as well. A saladette type, dark brick red with dark green almost black shoulders. The flavor is a good mix of full bodied salty, smokiness of a full sized black and the tangy sweetness of a cherry. I will be growing this one out and will keep you updated.

Sep 1, 2008

Melon Madness

Korean Melon NOID

Still trying to determine if this baby is ripe. I can not wait to pluck it from its vine and savor its melon-y goodness. It is a shame it is so small, but since this is my very first ever melon I am totally excited!!

Cantaloupe/Muskmelon NOID

Here is what will ultimately be my second ever melon...wooohooo....this is the best year for me melon wise! I have never gotten a melon to produce...ever. So this is going to be a treat for certain. I saved these seeds from a ginormous melon I bought at the Farmer's Market. Now I am unsure what I really have, as of the 3 fruits that are growing on the vine, one looks nothing like a Cantaloupe/Muskmelon. Oh well, no worries, I love it anyways!