Thursday, September 3, 2009

Helga ...

The first fruit that formed and made it to ripen on the vine.

It just made it off the vine to the kitchen counter today!


Need I say more?

Well, I will anyway.

This "Helga" plant was grown from seed that my mom, now gone 2.5 years,
had stored in an envelope on her bulletin board. Scrawled across the envelope was simply "Helga". The seeds were actually saved 3 or 4 years ago, before her husband passed away. They said this was the biggest and the best tomato they had ever grown. A really big girl, they named her "Helga".
I just thought it would be fun to see if the seeds would even germinate. It turned out to be a potato leaf variety. Probably a "brandy boy" tomato.

Helga grew and grew, all of the seeds I tried sprouted.
She grew too fast and got leggy inside, then she went outside too soon and got sunburned...
and then practically got thrown out when I thought her sunburn was disease
(Thanks to Paul for telling me she was salvagable!)

I babied the seedlings I had left and gave them away to friends.
I kept only 1 of the plants for myself. It grew under the deck in a homemade self watering container. It had a few fruits earlier on, but had some blossom end rot. ew. So, I waited and now there are 2 more fruits ripening, though smaller than this one.

I think half the fun this year has been the trial and error. What works, what doesn't.
What in the world is that bug and how do I gently remove it.
I enjoyed this year and next year I look forward to doing it all again, a bit different here and there.
Not that I am done... there is still plenty of fruit to harvest.
If we could ever get enough sun to ripen those tomatoes.

Now, speaking of bugs...
look who I found wriggling across the brandywines...
I found two actually.
I hard rinsed all the tomato plants on the deck and then pruned them.
They look pretty healthy now and yukky dudeless.

Isn't he the yukkiest dude EVER...

yes, that is a tomato hornworm.
See the spiky orange horn.

and to think he is only a baby.
I hesitate to even tell you that the kids have him in a bug container in the garage.

Teaching from the world around us,
now that's unschooling.

Still gross. to me.
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on a less gross note;

I canned banana peppers today.
My little plant was full of them

This was 2.5 pounds of banana peppers...
and yet
add eight green bell peppers
and a 1/4 pound of jalepenos from a friends garden
and I got 2 quarts and 2 pints of pickled peppers.
It simply takes a lot of any type of pepper to can in quantity.

Also... guess what I just picked (rather dug up)???

Yukon golds baby!

To clarify...
those are BABY ears of corn
and TINY YUKON GOLD Potatoes.

I put 3 seed pototos into a black mesh grocery bag after we dumped the trash can and discovered my potatoes rotted rather than grew in the can. Too wet this spring.

I have been watering and sprinkling blood meal to keep the bunnies and DEER off the plants.
They flowered, wilted and flopped over and broke off.
So I decided to dig around and
I found those sweet little baby potatoes.

I have another bag... with more little potatoes growing. I just need to let them be for another few weeks. Patience is what I need for late potatoes!


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