Category Archives: Farming

Eggplant Jerky? Yep!

Veggies from the garden

End of summer veggies!

End of summer and so many veggies incoming from the garden that you might be tempted to throw in the towel, give them away or just let them age in place on the counter.

 

 

But if you’ve got any extra eggplant, I’ve got a WONDERFUL recipe for you – Eggplant Jerky!

Yep, eggplant jerky is yummy! And it is a great way to use up those end of the year eggplant that are bit small or mishapen or “one too many!”

Prospera eggplant

Tasty Prospera Eggplant


Eggplant jerky can be made in a dehydrator or in the oven. It’s soooo easy because the secret to its zingy flavor is in the marinade and in the time you let it soak up the flavor.

Here’s the recipe! I really hope you get a chance to try it.

Ingredients:
2 lbs eggplant   
4-6 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup amino acids (or soy sauce)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbs chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano (or Italian spice mix)
1/8 tsp cayenne

Directions:
Combine olive oil, vinegar, amino acids, garlic and all seasonings in a bowl.  NOTE: you can “heat” your jerky up by increasing the chili powder, paprika and cayenne but remember, you are dehydrating so the flavors will concentrate.

Whisk together until fully mixed. Set aside.

Peel eggplants. Remove and discard ends and cut in half (into 4 inch sections), then cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices.

Lay eggplant slices flat in a cookie sheet. Pour marinade over the eggplant slices.

Mix gently to evenly distribute the marinade over all the eggplant slices.

Let the eggplant marinate for 2+ hours, flipping the slices and tilting the pan so the marinade is evenly distributed. Eggplant will begin to soften as it soaks in the marinade

Once fully marinated, remove slices from sauce. Bonus tip: pour leftover marinade into a jar to use for your next batch of jerky or for salad dressing or pasta sauce.

Lay slices in single layer on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or on dehydrator trays on dehydrator sheets.

Bake at 200 degrees for 8 to 10 hours checking it so the jerky doesn’t get too dry.  If dehydrating, set your dehydrator to 125 degrees and let it run for 12 -16 hours, again checking it to keep it from getting too dry.  

The eggplant strips should be firm but bendable when finished, similar to the texture of traditional jerky.

I LOVE this dish. In fact, my husband is suing our neice for alienation of affection because I LOVE this dish so much….and she was the one who shared this recipe with me.

I hope you enjoy making and eating it, too.

 

 

 

 

Japanese Beetles Are HERE! Control them naturally.

Japanese beetles are here, a bit late but they arrived overnight.

I only saw one on my blackberry canes and one landing on the ground (both dead by my hand) so you may be thinking I’m overreacting. I’m not!

In previous years, I went to war with Japanese beetles and I lost. But for the last 4 years, I have used a secret weapon that pretty much makes all Japanese beetles bypass my yard.

Surround stops Japanese Beetles.

Japanese Beetles hate Surround!

Why don’t they belly up to my buffet?  I use a product called  Surround.

Surround is 95% kaolin clay (5% inert) which is mixed with water and sprayed on plants. It is a beautiful organic solution to the beetle invasion.

Once again, this year, all the blackberries and the blueberries in my yard are wearing coats made of Surround which I mixed and sprayed this morning.

Blueberries covered by Surround.

Beetle free blueberries coated by Surround.

Surround works but ONLY if you spray it at the first sign of Japanese Beetles in the back yard.

When I say “first sign” I mean it. Apparently, Japanese beetles release a pheromone when they find good food. Any beetles in the vicinity fly in and start feasting.

How does it work? Surround doesn’t harm any other insects. But Surround does make berries and leaves taste really bad to the beetles! The proof is on the plants and in coming days, it will be in my bucket of sudsy water.  This year I have only gotten about 45 beetles, total.

Very few Japanese Beetles in 2016 thanks to Surround

Surround meant fewer than 45 Japanese Beetles last summer!

Last year, I plucked morning and evening and only got 45 beetles the entire season!

The year before I discovered Kaolin clay, I literally got thousands of Japanese beetles in my bucket and still lost all my blackberries, beans and apples.

The only difference was Surround!

Surround also keeps my 10 most hated bugs, including Colorado Potato Beetles, Cucumber and Squash beetles, off of plants so, yes, every squash and cucumber plant in my garden is also sporting a beautiful coat of kaolin clay.

FYI the beetles will drop by to check out my Borage, planted for bees, and my Pussy Willow but they don’t stay long. .

Borage without Surround equals Japanese Beetles.

Borage is one plant I didn’t spray!

Based on early application of Kaolin clay, I expect that the Japanese beetle population is going to be looking for greener pastures and tastier food somewhere else.

If Iwin the war this year,  I will once again give all the credit to Surround. If you’re being “bugged,” consider giving it a try.

2020 Organic Garden Update

June 2020 Garden

2020 Garden Growing!

It’s heading for the end of June and my garden has taken off!

Like most gardeners, May and early June are spent in a holding pattern, wondering if the plants you nurtured from seed would survive. They did. And they thrived and are setting fruit all over the place!

Let’s start with tomatoes.

Tomatoes on the vine

Glorious tomatoes!

The only hard part about growing tomatoes is deciding what kind to plant! That’s probably why I have 23 tomato vines in my garden right now.

These are Rutgers slicers on the vine! I have 3 of these plants and I am excited about them. I don’t usually grow slicers but I am looking forward to tomato and cucumber sandwiches!

Kangaroo brown tomatoes

Atomic Grape tomatoes

These babies are Atomic Grape. I saved seeds from last year and they sprouted and grew these gorgeous tomato plants.  Clusters of 5 tomatoes will turn green, red and purple…Atomic seems like an appropriate name for these beautiful fruits.

Below, plump plums are enjoying the cool mist of the morning.

Plum tomatoes

Plump plums on the vine

 

Who doesn’t need plum tomatoes? I make sauce, paste and scallopine from my tomatoes and we savor the summer flavors all winter long!

Yum!

 

Cucumbers reaching for the sun

Cucumbers are absolutely loaded with flowers and the beginnings of baby cucumbers just poking out from the plants. The bigger plants were started indoors and transplanted gently – cucumbers resent transplanting. The second set were planted from seed and will hopefully extend my cucumber harvest and season, my shot at succession planting.

Sweet red peppers

Sweet peppers for eating and canning.

Sweet red peppers

Sweet peppers for eating and saucing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eight pepper plants in their inverted tomato cages are also enjoying the warm days and nights. There are 3 different varieties, all sweet, in this bed. Diced and added to tomatoes and blueberries, these make a meal for me on hot summer afternoons.

I somehow ended up with 10 eggplants this summer but I love them and eat them all summer long. I also braise and freeze them for mid-winter eggplant parmigiania.

Eggplant in the truck bed

Eggplant enjoying the heat!

There are 2 varieties, Bianca Rosa and Green. I put the Green eggplant in one of the truck beds and they are really enjoying their time in the sun. In fact, the Green eggplant are already setting flowers.

Green eggplant with flowers

Green eggplant soaking up sun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of flowers, every single flower in the garden this year is a volunteer. And I love them.

Flowers for the bees

Flowers for the bees!

Dill growing tall

Dill growing tall for the bees

Bachelor buttons, Fennell, Borage, Dill and Sunflowers are all welcome to grow right along with all my other beautiful plants.

These flowers are loved by bees – honey bees, bumble bees and all manner of tiny “back yard” bees.

 

Lettuce and spinach bolting

Lettuce & spinach setting seed.

Finally, all the plants in my lettuce and spinach bed are bolting! It’s too hot for these cool weather crops but that’s good news. Each of these spiky plants will grow all the seeds I need for this fall and next spring!

And letting these plants bolt means that the aforementioned bees get yet another plant full of tiny flowers and brimming with pollen and nectar.

Bolting also means that I get seed which I share with the goldfinches and other beautiful birds who live in my garden.

 

I will close with pictures of my blueberries, got the first picking yesterday and my blackberries, setting fruit and preparing to be a delicious add to my jam collection.

Blueberries

Blueberries with dew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blackberries on the cane

Blackberries on the cane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE: when you look at the pictures, you will see that almost everything looks like it has a light coating of powdered sugar. What you are seeing is Kaolin clay. Bought as a powder and mixed with water, clay effectively keeps Japanese beetles from dining at your buffet and it helps manage cucumber, bean, and squash beetles…and all it is is clay in keeping with my all organic all of the time.

Happy gardening everyone!

 

2020 Garden All In!

2020 Garden

Homemade wind breaks

You are looking at a wind break born of a desperate attempt to save my beautiful, raised-from-seed, plants!

My 2020 gardening season did not start off well. In fact, in looking at this scene, you might be asking what my husband asked when he saw it.

“When did the gypsies get here?”

Droll as that is, and ugly as it is, this hand made wind break, billowing like a sail, has saved 17 tomato plants from early death! And these breaks were free, made from materials I already had on hand and had been using for years.

Wind break saves tomatoes

Tomato wind break in action.

Here’s what happened.

The day after I finally put all my overgrown tomatoes in the ground, Mother Nature treated us to constant wind velocities of 17 to 20 Miles Per Hour (MPH).

The next day was the same and I was watching the leaves on every single tomato dry up, burn  and drop off, a death sentence for any plant.

Early the next morning, in desperation, my “gypsy wind break” was installed.

It’s made of the queen sized sheets I sewed together to protect my blueberries from the birds. (Once you catch and kill a bird in netting, you probably won’t use it again.)

Okay so this wind break is not pretty but it does the job!

Wind break for tomatoes

Gypsy wind break saving my tomatoes

It would have looked a bit better if I could have attached it directly to the tomato trellis but the clips and clothespins were too small. So, I used the bamboo poles I’ve had for 25 years and attached the sheets to them. Eureka! A wind break was born.

But I didn’t stop there!

WIndow frames as wind breaks

Old window frames as wind breaks

I found a new use for the old window frames that I use to cover plants if we get a late frost. They too were employed to break the wind and keep it off of 8 pepper plants and 5 eggplants.

These frames were free; I just stapled old sheer curtains to them to protect my plants.

Cukes under window frames

Window frames protecting cukes

Two of the window frames were tilted down over my 9 cucumber plants, again, to stop the killer wind.

You can just see the plants nestled under the frames and mulched with straw. They must be happy because they set their 3rd set of leaves, already.

Although the garden looks like a bit of a hodgepodge, all of the plants, including the tomatoes, have recovered and are starting to look like they may survive!

Amish Paste tomatoes

Amish paste tomatoes nestled in

But, because my hand-raised tomatoes got such a rough start, I cheated and went to Maple Shade Nursery. I bought 6 Amish Paste tomatoes and put them in the ground yesterday, in the rain.

Checking on them today, they all seem very happy, no wilting, no burned leaves.

I also sneaked in 6 yellow squash plants and tucked them into my blueberry patch..

Today, it’s warm, it’s moist and I think my garden will actually survive!

 

For all of you who are just beginning to garden, enjoy! It can be tricky but it’s also so rewarding.

Lettuce & Spinach

Lettuce & spinach ready to harvest.

Walking in my bare feet, in the dirt and on the straw and the clover is my idea of heaven and…you get to eat what you grow, like this glorious lettuce and spinach!

FYI, the windbreak stays up until the second week of June….

June in the Junkyard Garden!

raised bed gardening

2019 Garden explosion

Oh what glorious changes are wrought with a little heat and a little sun!

My garden is literally exploding and there are baby veggies everywhere!!

Temperatures in the 90’s during the day and 70’s at night were all it needed.

Remember I said I encourage volunteers?

Dill plants growing wild

A sea of dill

This beautiful sea of dill plants, running down the middle of my tomato vines is what you get when you let nature do all the work.

What’s funny about all this dill is that I don’t use it in any recipes, don’t cook with it and don’t even cut it. I encourage it to grow because it brings hundreds of beneficial bees and wasps to the garden every single day.

I also have fennel that self seeded growing up by my pole beans, sun flowers growing next to the garlic beds.

Borage and Bachelor Buttons

Flowers growing where seeds fell.

And one end of my garden is graced by beautiful borage and bachelor buttons plants that seeded themselves!

Mixed in with more dill, these flowers feed bees, help to pollinate tomato, cucumber and bean plants and just plain light up the landscape with their color and their grace.

Serendipity brings them to my garden and they bring a joyful smile to my face every single  day that I am privileged to walk among them.

The heat has given my tomatoes a HUGE boost in growth – both the vines and the baby tomatoes themselves.

Atomic Grape tomatoes

Atomic grape tomatoes

 

Fox Cherry Tomatoes

Fox cherries on the vine

Atomic and Fox Cherry tomatoes are popping up on every single plant — all 13 of them.

And the 5 Kangaroo Paw plants are finally setting tomatoes, too. They look squat and round and I can’t wait to taste them.

Everywhere I look their is Life with a capital L.

The sweet potatoes are branching out; the volunteer tomato is setting flowers and fruit and my newest fig — Phygmalion is beginning to reach for the sky.

Chicago Hardy Fig

Phygmalion the fig

This is Phygmalion’s first full summer. Planted last August, she made it through our rather wickedly cold winter but she was supposed to. This is a Chicago Hardy fig – supposedly able to withstand -40 degrees. She joins Figaro – an Italian fig of unknown ancestry and Evangeline, a brown Turkish fig. Here’s hoping they all produce this year! I LOVE fresh figs but I also love fig jam.

Everything is growing and thriving right now – in those old truck beds or inside the PVC cage made for the tomatoes which are held up by orange and blue twine from my straw bales.

In the smaller truck bed, kale continues to produce while lettuce and spinach bolt and set seeds for me.

And in the big truck bed, the salvaged and bent fencing is fast disappearing under the cucumber vines twining up the links! The portulacas in the middle add just a dash of color while bringing in tiny beneficial bees. Finally, all the work is beginning to pay off. That’s it from this junkyard! Here’s hoping you are having happy gardening in your “junkyard”!

Cucumbers climbing chain link fence.

Cukes climbing the fence

Cukes growing

Healthy and happy cucumber plants

Defending My Garden!

Dill growing in with tomatoes

2019 garden in progress

My garden feeds 4 families, every year. It feeds my soul every day.

It is a place of refuge for me, the birds and yes, even the rabbits. 

Recently, the husband of a dear friend of mine described my garden as a, “Junkyard.”

He will remain nameless (as his worth dictates) but I must defend the space that I call my garden.

 

Yes, I have 2 truck beds in my garden. And I love them. Anyone who gardens knows how expensive raised beds are to buy…especially the 3 foot high beds! Well, one of these truck beds was free; the other cost $100.

raised beds from truck beds

Truck beds for raised beds

Both warm up earlier than the ground does so I can plant early. Both keep my crops safe from rabbits and gophers. Both provide a windbreak for transplants which is very important on our property as we are on a hill. Both save my back from bending over to plant, water, pick or bug bust.

See the chain link fence bent in half in the left hand truck bed? I salvaged it from the side of the road and use it as a trellis for crops like cucumbers to grow along.

Found items for the garden

Free barriers

Baskets that were given to me by a friend cover baby plants when it’s cold out. I also use them to keep rabbits from eating tender new leaves on plants or shrubs.

See the yogurt containers on the right? I cut the bottoms out of them (in the foreground) and slide them over vulnerable plants like baby green beans or beets. They are free and they make great collars to keep rabbits and slugs off young plants.

An old screen from the sliding doors we finally had to replace (after 25 years) also provides protection from rabbits, groundhogs and yes, my two West Highland White terriers.

Screen door in the garden

A screen protects beans

Wherever and whenever I can I find and reuse items in my garden and I love being able to do that. I also follow Ruth Stout’s age old advice and use straw to mulch everything from the garden beds and soil to the blueberries, blackberries and herbs.

My garden is not regimented.  Okay, let’s be frank, I am pretty laissez faire when it comes to where some plants show up in my garden.  For example, when my lettuce and spinach start to bolt, I let them grow up and flower. I have 2 ulterior motives – I want the seeds and I want the bees!

Flowers seed themselves

Flowers seed themselves

Borage, dill and bachelor buttons grow together in clumps. Sunflowers grace the back fence. And dill is everywhere! I don’t use dill but it grows where ever its seed landed and I let it grow up and flower.  Why? I want the bees!

 

Volunteer tomato

Tomato volunteers in the sweet potato bed

If you look closely at this picture, you will see a volunteer tomato growing in the sweet potato bed with…yep, some dill.

Volunteer potatoes are growing around the zucchini which I tucked into blueberry patch along with summer squash.

Will this garden of mine win any awards? Probably not. But I love it and I love the food it puts on so many people’s tables.

I love the joy of just wandering early in the morning, the sweet sound of birds singing from morning til night and the beauty that surrounds me every time I step into my garden.

Fresh beets

Fresh beets

First tiny tomatoes

First tomatoes of 2019

Tiny cucumber

First, tiny cucumber of the 2019 season

Spring @ Chez Mucci

Step outside, feel the sun.

Spring at Chez Mucci.

Guess how I know it’s Spring?

Nope, not trees starting to leaf out. Not daffodils or robins or even dandelions. And it’s not the darkling skies of an approaching thunderstorm or the rich scent of dark earth being turned by my fingers, either.

Spring arrives every year when I first inhale the rich, pungent smell of fish emulsion!  The scent is on my hands. Even after washing them I can still smell the perfume of fish wafting in the air. My springtime eau de cologne is from Neptune Harvest. Egg shells and fish emulsion are the only supplements I feed my plants. It’s all they ever get and they thrive on them.

I also know it’s Spring by the state of my basement…actually plant nursery. There are 44 tomato babies in the nursery right now.

Tomato babies in basement

Tomato seedlings

Growing and changing almost daily, these tomato babies will be shared with 3 friends who love getting heirloom, hand raised tomato plants that are non GMO, too.

Beet & lettuce seedlings

Beets & lettuce

My final hint that Spring is here? Baby beets peeking up out of soil, butterhead and oak leaf lettuce enjoying cool evenings and moderate days. Tatsoi shares a bed with the lettuce I seeded in and kale is growing strong and beautiful in one of my truck bed gardens.

This Spring, I also got a new garden friend who is yet another harbinger of one of my favorite seasons.  His name is Maurice AKA Mo.

A birthday present from my funny, sweet husband, Mo is a 77 inch high, metal rooster (I’ve wanted on ever since I read Jenny Lawson’s,  Let’s Pretend This Never Happened). Maurice greets me every single morning as we welcome another Spring day to my backyard garden.

 

Maurice in my backyard

Maurice meets Linus!

August in the Production Kitchen

It’s hot out – 94+ degrees. It’s hot inside, too. Why?

Production kitchen in August

Production in my kitchen

If it’s August, it’s time for production in my kitchen.

My counter tops are covered with various vegetables picked at just the right moment (except for the giant zucchini I missed!).

If you garden, you know that this month is the time when just about every single plant you put in the ground in May or June starts turning out produce at an almost alarming rate!

I pick every day.

I try to keep up but don’t always succeed.

This morning, the first thing I tackled were my Rosa Bianca eggplant, that beautiful purple globe surrounded by the raw ingredients for sauce.

Raw ingredients for eggplant parmesan

Raw eggplant parmigiana

I slice then convection roast eggplant at 475 degrees. NOTE: I don’t peel or de-seed these eggplant because they are so sweet and tasty, especially if picked before they get too big.

The 1/4 inch slices are dotted with a bit of ghee or olive oil and sea salt before they go into the oven.

Eggplant parmesan

Eggplant parmesan fresh from the oven.

Because they are being cooked at such a high temperature and because it’s so hot out, I got the eggplant in the oven before 5AM this morning.

Once the slices are nicely browned I layer them with my homemade tomato sauce and Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.   Then I slide the Eggplant Parmigiana into the oven.

The oven is already hot from convecting the slices so I cover the pan with aluminum foil, turn the temperature down to 375 degrees and bake, covered for 40 minutes.

 

I uncover the pan and bake it another 15 minutes to lightly brown it. Voila – Eggplant Parmesan fresh from the oven.

Next came dicing and putting 16 cups of mixed tomatoes into the largest pot in my kitchen to cook down and let the flavors of Atomic Grape, Consueleto Genovese and Black Vernissage tomatoes to blend together.

Tomatoes simmering into salsa

Tomatoes becoming salsa!

This will take about 20 hours at a very, very low temperature.

Once most of the liquid is boiled off and the flavors are blended, I will add the spice set to turn this brew

into medium salsa.

Then I will cook the salsa for another hour and can it in pint jars. If it comes out right, the salsa will also be used for holiday gifts!

Another gift I like to give at the holidays are small jars of jam – organic and low sugar because I use Pomona Pectin to make it. A full batch of jam using this pectin only takes 1 1/2 cups of sugar; at traditional batch of jam can take up to 6 cups of sugar!

Jam canning jars

Jam canning jars

So, these small jars wait on the counter and blueberries and blackberries wait in the refrigerator for their turn to be made into jam and brandy, respectively.

And my zucchini will be turned into one of the most delicious and healthful pizzas you can make – the crust is zucchini with a dash of coconut flour and the sauce is mine – made last year!

 

Gardening is hard work; putting up the produce from your garden is hard work too. But I love every step of every phase of growing, eating and preserving food that is organic, lovingly raised and gently but persistently canned, frozen or dehydrated for the coming winter.

July Garden Update!

Today, I will write with pictures, not words. So here is the pictorial update on my garden…and how it’s growing.

Despite cool nights (high 50’s and low 60’s, still), there are wonderful things are happening in my backyard.

Onions in May

Onions in May

Onions ready for harvest

Onions ready for harvest

 

Asparagus crowns need trenches

Asparagus trenches-April

Asparagus Growing-July

Asparagus Growing-July

Bianca Rosa Eggplant-July

Bianca Rosa Eggplant-July

Bianca Rosa Eggplant

Bianca Rosa Eggplant-June

Tiffen Mennonite Tomato

Consueleto tomato-June

Consueleto Genovese ripens

Ripening Consueleto-July

How to Trellis Tomatoes

Tomato trellis in bamboo

Tomato trellis in bamboo

Every year, I grow indeterminate, heirloom tomatoes. Every year, my tomato plants reach heights of 9 feet to 12 feet!

For the last 4 years, I have created a trellis for these monster tomato plants using bamboo poles and small green balls with connecting slots in them.

Each year, I am challenged to make the trellis straight and strong so it can hold up the weight of the fruit from more than a dozen very vigorous tomato plants.

This year, I lost the challenge.

In fact, this year, you could say I made a series of ill-fitting, trapezoid like structures that strong winds consistently knock awry! What you’re looking at is supposed to be a straight line…but it clearly flunked geometry and so did I!

Not so straight tomato trellis

Not so straight trellis

I was a bit desperate so I asked my husband (who is “…not a man of the soil”) to help me make a trellis using PVC pipe and connectors and he came through, as he always does.

The materials for this trellis cost $78 at Lowes. It is easy to put together as all of the vertical poles are the same length – 7 feet. All of the cross pieces are 3′.

Mr. Pat bought 14 PVC pipes that were 10 feet long. He cut 3 feet off each one to make both the verticals and the cross pieces. He then used elbows and tees to connect the verticals to the cross pieces.

The finished trellis looks a bit like something that clanked its way out of War of the Worlds!

New tomato trellis

New tomato trellis!

But it is lightweight and easy for the two of us to move. And it can easily be taken down and stored during the winter.

This afternoon, when the sun is warm on the plants and the leaves are dry, we will install the new trellis. It is 7 feet high and the cross pieces are 3 feet across. It will sit just inside the raised bed walls and a bit higher than my monster trellis.

Once the trellis is sunk into the ground, I will gently untie the tomato plants from the old trellis and tie them to the new one which will sit about 6 inches higher.

I am moving to the new trellis in the nick of time as the 13 plants that are relying on it for growth are literally loaded with fruit.

Tiffen Mennonite Tomato

My Tiffen Mennonite, the replacement for the Brandywine, are growing in clumps and getting huge.

The Consueleto Genovese and the Fox Cherry tomatoes are flat out laden with green tomatoes.

However, none of the fruit is ripening due to the chillier June nights we have been having.

Black Vernissage tomato

Black Vernissage tomato

Only the Black Vernissage, this year’s tester tomato is showing any color…but it’s not ripening, either.

Our temperatures have been in the mid to upper 50’s in Southeast Pennsylvania. Tomatoes like warm nights – 70’s+ and even warmer days. Over the next week, we will be hitting the 70’s at night and the 90’s during the day so I expect that just about all of the tomatoes on the trellis will ripen, all at once.

Once they start to come in, my neighbors better get ready! It will be tomatoes all around.

 

 

 

ps – please forgive the long silence. Since May 25th, I have been working valiantly to save the life of one of my two West Highland terriers. Unfortunately, my beloved Spike died on Saturday.