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Summer Doldrums

It’s been slow around here at the Homestead, between it being plain too hot to be outside much, and dodging random near-hurricanes.  The veg garden is doing as well as can be expected in this time of whiteflies and squash bugs.  The inside tomatoes are still gamely putting out fruit, and the outside ones are just kind of…there.  The yellow pear tomato has a few blooms here and there but you can tell the plant just really wishes it was a bit cooler.

In the boxes, the new cucumbers are gamely struggling along.  The battle against whiteflies is really just non-stop…and you’re never going to win, just fight a holding action.  But its worth it, for fruit that is so much more flavorful than the overgrown crap at the grocery store.


The far left box there is the Pepper Box, of course.  I’ve planted too many things there, and fed them far too seldom…the plants look pretty good but the fruits are almost all smaller than they should be.  So, as this year saw a good bit of experimentation with new varieties, next year will be planting of favorites only, and maybe just test the new things in pots.

The red rice beans are a resounding success, both in plant size/health and production.


I plan on doing a very detailed post on this crop in a week or so (including food prep), as the available info on it is kind of sparse, and we were most definitely winging the entire process.  The harvest thusfar has been spectacular:


And they’re still coming.  Speaking of harvests, here’s this morning’s haul:


That’s one red bell pepper, one tiny chocolate bell pepper, six Joe’s Round peppers (destined for pickling), six sungold tomatoes, a handful of red rice bean pods, and…wonder of wonders…two Key limes!  I noticed they were looking a bit yellow as I harvested beans, and in the harvest process both fell off to the ground.  They were flexible to the touch, very fragrant, ergo DONE!   I cut one open, tasted it and it was tart and absolutely perfect.


Our first citrus, woo!  Now, if those Meyer lemons would just hurry up and ripen…