Citrus coming on

<img src="×225.jpg&quot; alt="tangerine-tree" title="tangerine-tree" width="300"

Had one event on the NC trip that I debated mentioning but as a fair and balanced kind of guy……………….. I packed for the trip in a single carry on size bag. Nancy said she had packed my meds, shaving cream, tooth paste and brush while my responsibility was the clothing. When I unpacked at the hotel I noticed that there was no comb or razor. Since it was a college campus kind of tour, I didn't think either of the missing items rose to emergency level and could wait until we hit a drug store. Tom had his toothpaste confiscated by TSA at the airport so he too needed a stop although I told him I had enough. When I awoke the first morning it was groggy out and I stumbled into the bathroom, loaded up the toothbrush and started the morning activities. It tasted horrible and looked kind of funny too. Here it comes. Nancy had “accidentally” packed prep H instead of toothpaste. I too can see the humor in that, but at the time……………. She swears it was a total accident and I know she didn't have her glasses on but …….. Was my mouth all puckered up for the day? Couldn't wait for that first cup or ten of coffee. If we lived in Iran, this would be one of those stoning offenses, a caning in Singapore but here, I think she's going to beat the charges.

Had another veggie conversion deal. I had to have a couple pair of pants taken in and one of Nancy's bridge buddies is an incredible seamstress. She also loves anything from the garden. Oila, the pants fit again and we're down a couple of cucumbers, a zucchini or two and a handful of green beans. My only concern is that if I'm not careful, I'll forget to report all these trade deals on my 1040. I'll have to check with my tax consultant, Texas Todd.

I've mentioned the pole beans in earlier posts but they need revisiting. The variety is Smereldo and they are incredible. I'm picking them when they're about a foot long and 1-2” wide. You'd think they'd be tough or stringy at that size but they're tender and exceptionally tasty. And prolific – I can pick a meal's worth in about 2 minutes and they seem to just keep coming. When I mentioned above giving a handful of beans to Wilma, a handful is about a pound of beans. I've always grown bush beans but those days are over. I did screw up on the engineering by building a bamboo teepee like structure. They've overtopped the structure and it's really difficult to get to the top or harvest the inside hanging beans. I've got a new design on paper based on what I saw at Stone Barn Farms in NY this summer and now appreciate why they did it the way they did.

As the pic's show, no shortage of citrus this year. The pic's are the tangerine tree and the Marsh grapefruit. The Ruby Red grapefruit tree is also loaded and the Satsuma tree has a reasonable crop, the largest ever for this small tree. Without a doubt the Satsuma's are the favorites. They must be a cross between a tangerine and an orange since they peel even better than a tangerine but with more of an orange taste. The tree lost more than half it's leaves during last year's coldest snap but it didn't seem to effect the fruit production. Haven't picked a Red grapefruit yet but judging by the pinkish tinge on the skin, they are ready for action. Just in time for my niece's visit this weekend.


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