Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Garden Update #18

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Garden Update #18

The theme of the week with the gardens is that the butternut squash is winning. It's winning the battle to take over our garden, other people's gardens, and well, I think its plan is to take over the world. Every time we go down there we have more "escapees", new growth trying to make its way somewhere, even at the expense of the other plants. One of our tomato plants, as you'll see below, has really felt the wrath. The squash plant decided to grab a hold of it, and has proceeded to try to both strangle it and pull it over. This combined with all the rain we've had over the past couple of weeks doesn't provide a whole lot of hope for the plants survival. It's pretty yellow and gnarly looking - so we'll just have to see.

Otherwise, things are just moving along, lots of pepper growth, some even starting to ripen, and our zucchini and yellow squash all have a few little fruits on them

Check out the container garden:

Banana peppers.

Our "regular" bell pepper plant. We've gotten a couple of small peppers off of this and they are really good. As I noted in yesterdays post, the peppers from our container garden don't get as big as the ones from the store, but there is no comparison with flavor.

The cayenne pepper plant is going crazy. It's looking like, after these all ripen, we might get another large round. This has been a very productive plant. I think next year we'll have two or three of these plants and we'll be set for cayenne and crushed red pepper!

The Hungarian Wax plant is literally infested with blooms. If these all turn into peppers, we are going to have a serious Hungarian Wax supply!

The gorgeous and lush jalapeno plant. Look at all those peppers!

Petite bell peppers. A few are even ripening.

A ripening Super Chile. I think this plant has about had it. It is so waterlogged and it seems as if it always rains at the most inopportune times.

The other container banana pepper plant.

Onto the community garden:

This is a plant we haven't photographed for awhile. Anyone who has been following the Garden Updates for awhile - remember the two tomato starts we got at the beginning of the season from the market? Well we thought they were both dead, it seemed as if they had gotten something. We took out the Brandywine, but forgot about the Better Boy, and it's making a comeback!

This is the only banana pepper plant in our community garden that is easily visible in the tangled mess that is our butternut squash plants. There are three others besides this one, we have to dig through the jungle in order to check for peppers.

Yellow straightneck squash plant.

This is our first picked butternut squash - well right before we picked it of course.

Another butternut, it looks like it is quickly ripening, we should be able to pick it next weekend we think.

This is the poor tomato plant that has been terrorized by the butternut squash plants.

Our Roma tomato plant is really producing like mad. We took a series of pictures so as to illustrate its abundance.

I can't wait for them to ripen, but I'm a little nervous they are going to ripen all at once and I don't have a water bath canner yet, we might be eating a LOT of tomatoes!

Our two zucchini plants. The larger one is mostly just for looks; we haven't actually gotten anything off the larger one.

We've also noticed quite a few clusters of these things. They appear to be the eggs of some sort of bug. It's weird; some of the "egg sacks" have cut all the way through the leaves as if they were sewed on. Anyone know what these are? Should we be removing the leaves with these egg sacks on them? Are they pests or beneficial? Any help would be much needed.

As promised in the commentary to yesterday's post, here is Brett's recipe for refrigerator pickles.

The produce legend is:
no asterisk = from the grocery store
* = farmer's market
** = CSA
*** = Container or Community Garden

B's Famous Summer Pickles
sliced onions **
thickly sliced cucumbers (smaller ones work best)**
1 part water
1 part white distilled vinegar
dash of ground black pepper
a drizzle of olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let marinate at least 24 hours before eating.

The marinade for this recipe can be used for multiple rounds of pickles.

'Til next time.


Anonymous said...

Your pepper and tomato plants are gorgeous! Yum!

Thanks so much for the pickle recipe--I especially like it because it does not require boiling the marinade. That is my kind of humid summer recipe! Can't wait to try it!


VeggieGirl said...

Your garden updates ALWAYS put a smile on my face :0)

Beany said...

Your bell peppers look just like mine! And yes, the flavor is really intense. The fact that they self polinate makes me a fan of them.

jessy said...

thanks for the pickle recipe, Jennifer! and wow, wow, wow! your gardens are growing like crazy! what pushy butternut squashes you've got, too! eek! all the different peppers are so cute, and the tomatoes are look'n good! sounds like you're gonna have a load of tomatoes on your hands! nothing beats a tasty marinara sauce though - mmmmmmm! :) maybe you can fry up some of the green tomatoes, too! yay!

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

Look at all those Romas. Awesome!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Courtney - Thank you, we're so happy with how well they are doing.

Haha, no problem, Brett and I sat around watching the football game last night eating those pickles (I ate some of the onions - Brett isn't a fan), tomatoes with salt, and grapes. It was perfect.

I hope you like 'em!

Veggie Girl - Glad to hear it!

Beany - Hahaha. I like that too, you don't have to rely on certain critters being around to do it for you - a big plus when you live in a second floor apartment!

Jessy - No problem, I was stoked that Brett made them for us! It's an old family recipe he's loved since he was a kid. I think eating them last night took him back. :-)

I KNOW! They don't get the hint when we remove the other plants from their clutches or try to keep them contained to our garden. We're going to try trellising next year.

I'm happy to see how well the peppers are doing too.

Good call on the marinara and fried green tomatoes. I think I will definitely make the fried green tomatoes, and I will also likely make up some marinara to freeze. Thanks for the inspiration.

Lisa - I know the plant is almost infested with Romas!

Anonymous said...

oh wow that is kind of creepy to find weird looking eggs in your garden (food). Sorry I have no idea what they are.

Anonymous said...

Those eggs are a pest, they are the squash bug, do kill before all of your squash plants become infested.

I also had trouble with the vine borers and was told to wrap pantyhose around the base of the vines. I lost 4 squash and 10 pumpkin plants before I could stop the infestation. I now have covered my plants and am diligent about killing the bugs and egss...
good luck!

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