Summer!

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A sparse bean tepee

Ah summer! July is a time when the garden begins to kick into high gear. Tomatoes  ripen, cucumbers are ready and already I have a squash that could double as a weapon in the event of a zombie apocalypse.

My biggest experiment is growing a massive amount of Okinawan sweet potatoes in the same large planter as sweet peppers. I couldn’t find anything in the literature that said this was a good idea. Of course, I couldn’t find anything that said it was a bad idea either, soooo I tried it out. The Jimmy Nardello Sweets seem unaffected by their neighbors and are starting to redden up. I’m not actually sure “redden” is a word. It is now. Bill Shakespeare got to make up words. So can I, darn it. We’ll see how the sweet taters do, as I can only judge by the foliage which isn’t really the part I’m interested in.

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I’ve had worse ideas…

The bean tepee is slowly filling in, and by August the kids should be able to use it as their backyard hideout. If I’d been more on top of my gardening game and planted beans when I should have, they could be using it now. But that’s how I roll. Late to everything and barely getting stuff done. Huzzah!

We’ve been eating tomato salads frequently, even though most of my tomatoes went in late and won’t produce as much as they would have if…well, see the previous paragraph. But I planted a few on time and they are producing like gangbusters. There’s even enough for a hornworm or two to have their fill. I found one and before I could send it to that great big tomato vine in the sky, kiddo asked me to spare it. So it went to live on the other side of the fence, against my better judgement. It probably turned into a moth and will make thousands more horn worms that will destroy every future tomato plant I try to grow. But at least my kind-hearted daughter could go back to happily helping me pick cherry tomatoes from a plant descended from one my dear Pops planted. Gardening for me is really about family after all, so all is well.

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Ok ok–gardening is about family–and tomato salads.

Next up is making another batch of chocolate zucchini bread. Link to the recipe is on the resources page, so you should check it out if you are like me and planted way more squashy squash squash than you can use. Then again–can there every be too much squash? Like Bubba explained about shrimp, there are at least 10,000 ways to prepare summer squash.

My two favorites, in case you wanted to know, are the aforementioned chocolate zucchini bread and grilled.

Recipe:

Slice a couple of zukes lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick pieces. They don’t have to be super small, but not so large that the seeds get in the way. Coat with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put them over direct heat until they start to caramelize on one side, then flip them. Sprinkle with finely chopped mint and grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese. Sheep’s milk cheese would be nice if you want to get fancy. Serve with whatever, but I am partial to eating it alongside a grilled pizza and a tomato salad with basil and mozzarella. Enjoy!

Much love to all of you!

Andy

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