Today’s Harvest

Just-washed veggies picked minutes earlier

Only the squashes have been producing fruit every day, and even they are slower than usual — one fruit per plant every three days or so. I’m pretty sure it’s the crazy heat and the moderate, soon-to-be severe drought. I’ve read that tomatoes won’t set fruit when temperatures remain high; I suspect it’s true for all the veggies.

While the shallow well lasts, I’m watering every other day. I use a hose and direct the water precisely around the bases of the plants — less water wasted that way. It takes me a full hour to thoroughly water all the veggies, but it’s the only reason they’re still alive and producing at all.

I’ve been getting Sweet Treats cherry tomatoes every four or so days. Today, as you can see in the photo above, five were ready for harvest. They are moist and sweet — but not too sweet. That’s why we like this cherry tomato variety — they actually taste like tomatoes, not candy.

The larger tomato in back is an Italian Goliath. It’s the first of this variety that’s been ready. Another first-to-ripen variety is Viva Italia. They’re the three tomatoes on the right in the back. The other bigger tomato up front is another Ferline. The Ferlines have been most productive — in terms of producing ripe fruit — so far.

That’s a Raven zucchini and those seven beans are the first Jade bush snap beans to reach harvestable size. Judging by what I saw today, I think about twice that many may be ready tomorrow, especially since I thoroughly watered them.

After an early wave of ripe Purple Russian tomatoes, the plants seem to be taking their time ripening any more. Big Beefs and Early Goliaths have produced some very impressively large fruits, and they are finally coloring up to the point that I am checking them daily to see if they have attained full ripeness. So close, but not quite yet.

I’ve also been picking blueberries from the aging, neglected bushes near my greenhouse. The birds were quite annoyed at my audacity, thinking those bushes were only their domain. Over the last three days, I’ve managed to harvest about three pints of ripe berries. They aren’t fabulous — no supplemental water and damage from the periodical cicadas — but they aren’t half bad. And the price is right.

The Fortex pole beans are only just beginning to produce beans; I think the heat is very much slowing them down. Ditto for the Diva cucumbers; they’re growing vines and blooming, but fruit development seems in stasis.

I am ready for this summer time warp of non-ripening to end. Theoretically, after record high Fourth-of-July temperatures, my area’s chances of rain will increase slightly, and the weather will “cool” back down to the low nineties.  I hope for once the weather forecasters are right.

If significant, frequent rains don’t visit my yard and garden soon, it will be a sad summer indeed.

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