Sunday, April 19, 2009

Growing veggies

Dan told me he caught some nitwit on one of the cable news programs talking about the benefits of locally grown produce. Apparently she said that, "some people are even growing their own. But you don't have to be that extreme." And this is several weeks after Michelle Obama started her organic veggie garden at the White House.

I have three collards, bought as small plants from Home Depot, growing in a big clay pot. Dan cooked a bunch last night, with a ham bone, for the first time. They were really good. I was a bit dubious because they are a cold season plant, but I'm glad to say I was wrong. We'll have to see how long they last into the summer. (He also made cornbread and deep fried some catfish; it was a feast!)

In late October, I started lots of tomato seeds (a mix of hybrids and heirlooms) and was surprised that almost all germinated, resulting in an excess. I gave half away to friends. I've had mixed results, and I really don't understand why some varieties do well one year and fail the next.

I also bought a young lemon pear from Home Depot when I bought the collards, and it seems to be the only heirloom that has done well this year. My black Russian has flowers that are dying and has produce four toms so far, three of which were eaten by something else. My green grapes have been a disaster, and my Brandywine is going gangbusters, but has produced very few flowers, despite lots of tomato food.

The only ones that have done well, other than the lemon pear, are sugary and black cherry. All three are cherry sized.

I mostly grow them in sterilized seven gallon pots, but I planted a few in the ground at the side of the house. They are pathetic, but I'm wondering if a neighbor's dog is using them as a place to pee.

Anyway, it's going to be too hot for the fruit to set soon. I'd like to get one Brandywine and one black Russian out of the effort before that happens.

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