Today, I am thankful for signs of a good harvest.
Here it is, the middle of summer. Hot, dry days. An occasional thunderstorm and rain shower. Sunshine prevails.
Good news! Despite my preoccupation with Tom's recovery, job hunting and climbing, my garden is thriving.
I will never forget the dismal harvest of 2006 - seven plants loaded with cherry tomatoes that never ripened. In September, I finally relinquished my dream of bowlfuls of sweet fruit - enough to share with my neighbors - and a reputation for growing excellent tomatoes. Instead, I picked cupfuls of marble-sized green fruit, chopped them with my favorite knife, and added them to the day's soup or stew.
So, I am rightfully wary about making predictions about this year's potential bounty. Still, I think that I will do all right and redeem myself.
In case you're wondering, here's an inventory of what's growing:
** Cherry tomatoes, 3 plants, 2 varieties (orange sungold and sugary); fruit just beginning to ripen, weather's been perfect - wish I had grown more plants.
** Watermelon, 8 plants, 2 varieties; dozens of blossoms emerging along the vines (yikes! that's a lot of watermelon); looks like, we'll be serving homegrown watermelon at our neighborhood's end-of-summer/back-to-school picnic.
** Peppers, 2 plants, 2 varieties (1 mariachi - hot, 1 red knight -mild); lots of blossoms, fruit just beginning to appear, will plant more next year if this year's crop is tasty, like the fact that the plants are small and low maintenance.
** Herbs: basil, thyme, sage, rosemary, tarragon; ready to use, we eat homemade pesto spread on homemade bread - could eat this everyday.
** Mint: 5 flavors (chocolate, grapefruit, orange, Kentucky peppermint, mint julep); have used the leaves all summer in tea and ice water, made a minty syrup for mint juleps, S wants me make him a mojito.
No berries this year. The six goji berry plants need more time to mature. The raspberries - well, I don't know what's wrong with them.
Maybe next year.
For this blessing, I am grateful.
Photo: Orange sungold cherry tomatoes