We took our annual fall trip to Gainesville on Sunday. There’s an arts and crafts show that we’ve attended with Simon and Julia for the past three years. We had a great time and restocked Simon’s larder from here, from Trader Joe’s and from Fresh Market. He’ll have enough stuff to almost last through this semester. They took us to their new favorite Mexican restaurant and I have to admit, it’s one of the best I’ve seen. They have exotics on the menu like you’ve never seen – how about tacos that include pulled goat, beef cheek, or cactus. At the craft show there’s been one booth that has lured me in every year but has never hooked me enough to pull the trigger on a purchase. Since this may be the last year we attend, I just couldn’t resist. Check out the new dock tenant, an egret made of PVC pipe. I sure hope it holds up in the weather. That’s the reason I passed on it last year.
Dove into the thinning task in the garden. Finished the carrots and beets and got a decent start on the lettuce. If even half the lettuce survives we will be in an extremely long position before the end of the year. After two days, it looks closer to 100% survival for the lettuce also. That’s true for cabbage as well. It looks like I got 100% germination on the Jersey Wakefield and the Chinese cabbage which means about 20 more cabbages to be transplanted to the garden in the next couple of weeks. At the same time I planted the cabbage seed, I planted seeds for orange (cheddar) colored cauliflower. It was older seed, I think about 3 years old, and it looks like zero germination. That’s not unexpected and I’ll just replant with another cauliflower variant that is a cross between cauliflower and broccoli. I successfully grew that last year and suspect the seed is not too old. It’s also looking like the spinach seed I planted directly in the garden a couple weeks back was also too old. I’ve got some new seed so no big deal.
When I went out to the garden today there was a crowd of people around the tomato plants oooing and ahhhhing and unanimously announcing that they had never seen plants like these. These were friends of my neighbor, bikers, so not necessarily a group of visiting agronomists but I’m calling them keen observers. I have to admit that, for whatever reason, the tomato plants that I planted in September are the biggest, strongest looking plants I’ve ever grown. I really didn’t do anything different so it must just be the combination of an ever improving soil and near perfect weather conditions. If we can go another month with no frost, there should be plenty of ripe tomatoes coming to go with all that lettuce mentioned above.
Still catching plenty of speckled perch but still too small to keep. The way it works is that the smaller males come into the area where the larger females will eventually congregate to lay eggs. Apparently the females are still out cruising in the deep water and not ready to become moms.