George, next door, has a guy that mows his field. I was out playing gardener this morning and he drives the mower up against the fence and turns it off. He asked what kind of fertilizer I used and I said I didn’t use any. He said he’d been watching my garden for a couple of years and decided to do one of his own so he tilled up a 16‘x16’ plot several months back, fertilized it, and planted store bought plants – the standard mix of tomatoes, squash, peppers and cucumbers. Everything started out just fine and had put on quite a bit of growth for a month and then it all started crashing. He said he couldn’t believe the difference between his and mine. Since I’ve heard that so many times now, I believe it. One thing that is different about the garden this year is the compost has much more coffee grounds than in previous years – thanks Joey, thanks Starbucks. It also has lots more fish carcasses – thanks George, thanks Harvey, thanks Julian. I don’t really think the garden is nicer this year than last but maybe it is.
Nancy made a great side last night – pureed parsnips and carrots. In this case the carrots are a variety called Kuroda which is an extra sweet Japanese variety. If you hadn’t known any better, you would have sworn it had been laced with brown sugar or maple syrup – it was that sweet. I grew three different carrot varieties but without a doubt this variety wins the nod and will get prime location next season. I also grew a red variety and it looked good but nowhere near the taste of Kuroda. I will also increase the size of the parsnip patch since we so enjoyed them and since they’re so expensive in Publix. That seems wild since neither one of us had ever eaten a parsnip before this year. We also ate the first cucumber of the season. Trust me, you’ve never had a better variety than Sweet Success. That’s all I grow now. If you’re keeping track, the computer said May 5 for the first cucumber so still experiencing earlier that expected production on almost everything. And one last garden comment – I think I posted a few weeks back that I was planting a couple of (supposedly) heat tolerant lettuce varieties. Didn’t make it, zero germination – just as predicted.
Olivia’s graduation is tomorrow. It’s at UCF, early in the morning so we’re going down tonight and staying at a motel near the event. The morning traffic into Orlando is just more than we feel up to challenging. It just so happens that there’s a nearby Costco so we’ll make a run there to pick up the dry goods we need. I don’t know of any social events planned for tonight or tomorrow but you never know.
Here’s a picture of one (of three) corn patches. It’s taller than me,7’+, and should start yielding ears next week. What you are looking at are 60 tall plants with some (still producing) kale in the foreground and more corn, a month younger, off to the left. I refer to that row as Grace’s corn since she actually planted those seeds.