Crop report

May 3, 2016

Yellow squash on the left, zukes on the right.

Yellow squash on the left, zukes on the right.

Cukes just starting to peek through.

Cukes just starting to peek through.

The weekend’s inch and a half of rain has encouraged a good stand of yellow crookneck squash and zucchini to show its first new shoots in the garden. Cucumbers are a little slower, but there are four or five peeking out, and out back, the tomatoes are thriving, but the pole beans have yet to show up. That’s not really surprising; they were planted several days longer and take significantly longer to germinate, so I won’t worry until this time next week. And by that time the rest of the cucumbers should be making their presence known, and I’ll need to get everyone thinned out.

The Bradley and Roma tomatoes, particularly, are flourishing. My four hybrids are looking less happy, and one of my two grape tomato varieties is a little spindly, but I think they’re all going to do fine. I found cages last week at a price I didn’t mind paying ($1.39 at Orscheln Farm and Home), and I got cages in place so they can have something to lean on as they grow. Got extra cages to use in place of stakes or a trellis for the beans.

Tomatoes, caged and ready to climb.

Tomatoes, caged and ready to climb.

Before long I’ll have to hang a couple of aluminum pie plates to scare off the birds and squirrels, or get real proficient with a BB gun and stand guard over it.

I can hardly wait to have my own fresh tomatoes. I sure hope these babies produce prolifically. And there are no words for how much I long for Kentucky Wonder pole beans.

Nothing fancy. Everything good.

Nothing fancy. Everything good.

In honor of the potential for fresh, home-grown produce, I cooked an old-fashioned country dinner last night; pork chops, fried potatoes and onions, baked apples and purple hulled peas. It was quite exceptional. Sometimes, there’s just nothing like a down-home country dinner. I am not going to detail how to cook those, as I have done so numerous times, and if you’re interested in cooking enough to be reading this, you probably already know. If you don’t, message me and I’ll give you a private lesson.

Got these boneless pork loin chops from Schwan’s, on sale. I am underwhelmed. Have a couple of pork loins in the freezer, and I’m going to cut one of those up for chops as well, I think. Then I think I’m going to brine half the other one and try my hand at Canandian bacon, and sous vide the other half, preparatory to putting it on the grill. And while I’m grilling, I’ve got that chunk of pastrami-to-be in the freezer that’s been sous vided, and now needs to be thawed and smoked. Might as well smoke ’em both at the same time. That may be a weekend project, along with, I think, strawberry jam.

You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em come on over and help.

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