The joy of nightshades

Watching things grow is quite the challenge.
The more you watch the slower they seems to change,
When you give them space they appears to grow up over night.
Patience, persistence and perseverance are necessary.

This year is the first “real” vegetable garden we have. By real I mean a garden with various “crops”. And by crops I mean rows of different vegetables. Last year was an experiment to see if I could grow anything, the kale survived and so did the shiso. Which reminds me I haven’t planted the seeds I collected.

Seeing our first eggplant appear on the plant was quite magical. I thought it was a shadow at first it appeared so silently. Now there are two.

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Solanum melongena (eggplant/aubergine)

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Capsicum annuum (jalapeno)

All the plants seen here are members of the nightshade family, the tomatoes, the eggplants and the peppers. We have jalapenos and green bell peppers.  I didn’t plan this, it just happened. Some people have health issues/intolerance with plants in the nightshade family. Potatoes are under the nightshade umbrella too. I have never had an issue with them.

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Solanum lycopersicum (tomatoes)

Cherry tomatoes seen here are starting to ripen up. There are huge numbers awaiting their moments of brightness. Can’t wait to pick some more. Almost enough for a salad.   I read somewhere that if tomatoes are starved of water then they are sweeter? True or not? It has been a hot dry summer and I am trying to keep up with the watering. Time for a nap!

Vegetable garden update

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There are many way to support tomatoes. I went with the pole approach. I tied up cord, one fore each plant and secured it at the bottom with a rock. Twisty ties, string and like to tie the branches and stems of the tomato plants for support. I chose the hottest time of day to do this job. Hot. Hot. Hot. Do not do as I did. All done now. Let’s see if it works.
Ignore the weeds. You can see that I have. I am going for imperfect gardening this year. If a job gets done it’s a bonus. If it doesn’t get done. Never mind. I got a bee sting on my stomach today! Ouch!

Something has been eating my spinach

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Help me find the culprit! I was having such an easy start to having my own vegetable garden. The plants were growing, I was watering daily, I hoed the rows, removed weeds. Life was sweet. Then I noticed that my plants were shrinking. No, they were being eaten. The whole leaves of the spinach plant are being eaten. Very methodically. I am sharing my garden with perhaps a possum? Are they vegetarians? I think I need a net. Not so happy now.
There’s more. I checked my kale plants and the underside of the leaves were covered in a white flying bug. Horror! I checked the internet and decided to blast them with water. I tried that last night. That might work. We shall see. Progress is being made. I am learning to share. That is why I decided to add spinach to my juice. I thought I had better start eating it or else I might miss out. I was waiting for the plant to get a little bigger but plans changed.
I can see weeds in my photo. The joys of closeups. Time for some weeding meditation this evening.

Granny Green Smith Juic’n

I have been staring at my Granny Smith apples in the apple bowl on the bench for a few days now.  I didn’t touch them until today.  Self restraint. They were in the queue behind Braeburn. Yesterday I used the last of the Braeburn. Finally got rid of them. Granny Smith the apple of my childhood, the ones that I remember best. But they used to be bigger and misshapen too.
Today they were finally my fruit and my green, the carrot was my main and the only vegetable. Today’s juice was badly planned but still under my guidelines of something carrot, something green and something fruity. Sure they overlapped but I paid the price, a lot less juice today. I really noticed the lack of green vegetable today. The cucumber or zucchini that I usually run with was out. The liquid just wasn’t there. Didn’t even bother with ginger. The only consolation today was the colour of the juice, not green but orange. Still tasted fine. I have yet to taste an awful juice. Although I don’t really like the texture of sweet potato unless there is something else to mask it completely. Tomorrow is a new day. Cheers!

What is your favourite juice combo?
Do you have a juice that just didn’t do it for you?
Least favourite ingredient?
Do you put spices in your juice?

Vegetable Garden Wish List : Free standing Granny Smith apple tree espaliered to form a hedge