Travel companions.

We’re looking at dates now. Perhaps we leave in a month. Perhaps longer. In all the planning there is, planning which plants to try and bring, which to give away, and who, if anyone, is eager to garden-sit… is quite overwhelming.

The three blackberries will go to a friend. The potted plum to my in-laws. Perhaps they’d like the blueberries, too.

Do you think this giant chard would mind two weeks in damp newspapers if I gave it a severe haircut first?

Napoleon will come with us. He first made the voyage here with us seventeen years ago as a little 1” specimen.

I’m tempted to harvest tomatoes green and wrap them in paper. A book I’ve just received discusses the method as a winter storage option. Surely it’s possible for any green tomatoes you might need to pick early.

The onions started falling over, so I’m starting their curing in batches. Trying this, learning that, one group of toppled tops at a time.

And then there are the carrots to pickle and the cucumbers to… pickle. Perhaps some dry beans will dry in time.

But I believe these are the last of my seeds I’ll sow for awhile. And I’ll never eat the sweet potatoes, okra, or melon on their way. I hope the popcorn finish as we’re ready to pack them in, and that the sweet corn make a delicious farewell feast appearance.

I’ll not count the gardens I’ve started and said goodbye to. I’ll remember this one as the best yet and the breeding ground for making home-farm dreams seem achievable. And I’ll miss it dearly, idyllically, forgetting the summer’s blasting heat coming and the bare earth during planting’s “winter” in the dead of July and August.

The year of the tomato.

I thought I got a huge harvest on June 8th. Look at all those bigger guys out of focus in the background!

And then, on June 14th, I put the 8th to shame. Nearly twice the harvest as before!

Sunday, for Father’s Day Birthday, DH’s family came over for dinner and afterward wanted to head to the garden. It was really neat walking around the gardens with them. Oooh and Aaaahing over the giant gourd squash, the comically huge sunflowers, the beautiful squash flowers, and the mystery corn-grass in others’ plots. It was also fun to hear them get excited over all of the ripe tomatoes in my plot like I do. Once again, the harvest left the previous harvest in the dust. Once again, the latest harvest was double the previous.

Want to see what (at least) 10 pounds looks like?

Why only “at least”? Well, the scale broke. I thought it took regular batteries, and knew it had been dying slowly. It finally died, and I go to replace the batteries…giant watch-style batteries. Crap. So we’re guessing on the weight this time.

That morning I snapped a shot or two  of two of the large varieties in the early light. The Black Prince (so named for the dusting of darker green/purple shoulders) and the Zapotec (the pink wrinkly one.)