Sunday, June 17, 2007

Tomatoes Plus Herbs Equals Summer

I'm counting down the days now until I'll be going to San Francisco! Meanwhile, I've been working hard to get the garden in shape so it won't take too much maintenance later in the summer, when I'll be busy having fun. I like giving updates on how my garden is progressing, even though the photos I take outside often remind me of my limitations as a photographer! I waited too long today for ideal light conditions, so these are pictures I took with the camera on auto. Even if they aren't great shots, you can see that most of the plants are pretty happy around here!

I've picked basil several times from the plants I bought, and the seeds are finally starting to take off enough that I transplanted some to spread them around a little more. This little plant is about 2 inches tall. Later this summer I'll be freezing basil, and making things like Sausage and Basil Marinara Sauce and Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese and Basil Vinaigrette.

I finally got my oregano and sage trimmed so they're back in control, and this is the row of perennial or self-seeding herbs that grow along the edge of my garden. From the front there's Greek Oregano, Sage, Rosemary, Silver Thyme, Golden Oregano, Variegated Marjoram, French Tarragon, Flat Parsley and Curly Parsley. I hope I didn't forget anyone. All the herbs are doing well, but a few of these are new plants this year so they're still small.

Every year I wonder, will there be actual peppers to eat? My pepper plants all have blossoms, but for some reason I don't seem to get many actual peppers.

Tomatoes are another story. All my plants except the Brandywines have tomatoes on them, some with clusters like this. Soon I'll be happily making things like Tomato and Garbanzo Salad and Tomato, Egg, and Olive Salad with Gorgonzola Vinaigrette.

It's hard to tell in the photo but this is a very small plant with a very big tomato for the size of the plant. Celebrity tomatoes are one of my favorites to slice and eat with sea salt.

It's fuzzy, but you can see that I'll have some Romas later this year when I'm happily making Slow Roasted Tomatoes.

Finally, what could be better than this! I have volunteer Brandywines growing all along the edge of my compost pile. I love the flavor of Brandywines, and they're so huge one slice is big enough for a bacon and tomato sandwich.

You can see all the updates on this year's garden by clicking the label 2007 Garden Updates at the end of this post. If you're looking for the Recap of Weekend Herb Blogging #87, it'll be posted at Rachel's Bite sometime this evening or tomorrow.
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13 comments:

  1. yay, the plant pics continue :) how come no animals eat them? :O :D h

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  2. Hi Sarina,
    I have a fence all the way around my back yard to keep out the big animals. I do have trouble with bugs eating things sometimes, and I've been known to poison the snails if they start eating too much, but this year so far I've sprayed the basil a few times with soapy water and it seems to be ok (the bugs don't like soap!) Snails can be a real pest in Utah if you let them get out of hand. I don't like to use poison, but if they start eating the tomatoes I'll use it.

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  3. Your garden is lovely!
    Mine is depressing. All of the cold damp weather encouraged a fungus on my tomatoes - and I lost all 22 plants - most with nice size fruits on them. They've been replaced - has to be a new spot, or course...so I stuck them in the lawn.... just dug little holes and dropped them in... LOL
    Today, when the girls and I went down for the morning check a cutworm had worked it's way down 2 of my 3 rows of sweetcorn.
    It was all going so very well - I should have known...
    San Francisco sounds wonderful...sigh

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  4. Oh Katie, I'm so sad to hear that. We're lucky in Utah that the weather is so dry and things like fungus are never a problem. Of course, if you ever forget to water you're in trouble. I hope you'll get some tomatoes from the new plants at least. Wish I could send you some in September when I have so many.

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  5. Your tomato plants look so happy.
    How nice that you have volunteer Brandywines growing.

    I planted my first Brandywine this year. It doesn't have tomatoes on it yet either.

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  6. Kalyn, keep up the good work! I can't wait to see more dishes that use up that lovely produces!

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  7. You have some great things happening there!

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  8. Your garden is lovely, Kalyn. I'm so jealous. I just didn't have the oomph this year to do my usual container gardening. You know what else I'm jealous of? Out west, the dry earth always looks so barren to me but when it comes time to garden and you don't have to fight the weeds we do here in the Midwest, I'm jealous, baby! :-)

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  9. I am a professional chef with lots of experience in the hospitality industry, and I would like to say how impressed I am with your food blog. I truly think that lots of chefs who cook for a living would be amazed at the amount of information that you are putting out there. I am quite new to the blogging stuff and hope one day to be mixing it with the best with you and your Weekend Herb Blogging enthusiasts. Maybe once the kitchen gets too hot for me I can really blog to the top. Love it and thanks for the inspiration. John Mundell
    My blog is www.johnmundell.com if you ever want to give me some advice.

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  10. Chigiy, the brandywines are always slow to produce, but the flavor is wonderful. I gave up on growing them in cages and last year I just let them sprawl on the ground.

    Anh, thanks. It's always fun to try to think of how to use the stuff from the garden.

    Kristen, I love my garden! I get so much pleasure from it.

    Glenna, we do get plenty of weeds, but the dry climate is really great for some plants like tomatoes. I weed all the time, and use the grass from my lawn around the plants to keep the weeds down.

    John, thanks for visiting.

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  11. I enjoy watching your garden grow! It is looking great! If you start getting overloaded and need to share, just let me know:) ha!

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  12. definitely you have a green thumb!

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  13. I love your garden updates! Your plants all look very happy. :) I wish I can grow tomatoes here in Seattle but I think the summer is too short.

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