Monday, August 31, 2009

An Abundant Harvest

The true pleasure of vegetable gardening comes in late summer when produce is ripening in its greatest abundance. The tomatoes I eagerly await seem to be multiplying faster than I can cope with them. No complaints here. My husband makes a mean salsa, although that also has me eating more tortilla chips than my waistline can usually handle. Oh, well.

I’ve noticed that my cucumbers, fully developed, are trying to play hide-and-seek with me. They ripen but hide themselves away under large green leaves in order for me not to find them. Imagine my surprise when my husband found two fully developed cucumbers that I hadn’t even noticed. Generally that would be okay, but these were the English type. Each was about 14 inches long. Picking them was no treat either. Although I cut them from the vine with scissors, they tried their hardest to poke me with their sharp spines (and succeeded). Ah, nature!

The basil is great this year. It’s growing the right size in the right amount. Every so often, when I’m in the mood for pesto, I have just what I need to make a nice pasta dish for my family.

Corn always baffles me. I never know when to harvest it. I’ve learned that it should be picked when the silk turns completely brown. I’m always afraid that it will be too soon, or maybe too late. What then? Should I peek inside the husk? If I do, will insects be watching me and then take advantage of my opening the husks to invade the ears? Let me ponder this a bit more…

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