When the deer nibbled away many of my tomatoes, Nancy took pity on me and stopped by her favorite nursery in Debary and picked up 3x 4 packs of plants. I planted them but had no technical info on the varieties, just tags that named 8 of the plants as Rutgers and 4 as LaRoma. I was totally unfamiliar with either but looked them up on the internet and found some interesting history. I think everybody over the age of 50 would tell you that hands down, Jersey tomatoes are the best tasting ever. That’s all I ever heard growing up. I assumed that Jersey tomatoes were grown only in Jersey and owed their taste to something in the Jersey soil. What I learned was that the reason they were called Jersey tomatoes is because they were developed by Rutgers University, a famous college in New Jersey. For local use and canning they were the best but commercially they had a flaw – too soft to travel. They later made a hybrid which retained the flavor, added some disease protection but not the firmness problem. Now I’m looking forward to this crop and just hope it does well in Florida. The La Roma’s are a paste tomato (which I was fairly certain of before the research) and have good disease and nematode resistance so I have more confidence that these will do ok. So far, after a week in the garden, all the plants are looking good.
I had to take another corn picture. It’s now 6’ tall, loaded with tassels and I can start to see on the stalks where the ears will form. Not there yet but discernible to the trained farmer. Update – those bumps on the stalks were literally little ears with silk 6 hours later. I am amazed by how fast this is happening. The other pic is the early cucumbers planted August 1. There are some micro cuc’s forming on the stems so I’m guessing we’ll be picking a few by the 1st of October. I’ve never grown this variety before, Diva, but they have a good resume and I have a row of my reliable Sweet Success two weeks into the cycle. Those will be the Nov crop. I need these to be very productive since Nancy’s bridge partner, the one who trades shrimp for cucumbers, told her that they caught 4000 shrimp this past weekend. These are also the cuc’s that Nancy’s quilting partner, the one who raises cattle, covets. She dropped off 14 pounds of ground beef last week – a down payment for cucumbers, pole beans, and cherry tomatoes.
Newly hatched “brassicas” all look alike so it’s very easy to mix up broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and kolrabi. and it really gets complicated when you have a few varieties of each. These are my nutribullet main actors. I now have 3 full flats (18 plants per flat), one for Joey, two for us and several four packs for a variety of “customers”. By the end of the week, I’ll have two more flats of lettuce, one for Joey, one for us. One variety of lettuce is red leaf so that one’s easy to keep separate. Also lettuce grows so fast that the leaves differentiate themselves quickly so you can generally keep the varieties separated after a few weeks.