..and there goes the summer garden! Let's catch up.

Wow - time flies when you are:  having fun, doing lots of watering, harvesting, seed saving, cooking, and recovering on the couch after a shower. Looking back, my last substantive blog on progress was mid July. Here we are in late August, and in the blink of an eye, anticipation evolved into analysis of how it all went down.

Between mid July and now were tastings, dinners, trips and speaking events, garden visits, and even a near total solar eclipse. Add to that seed saving complete for over 100 tomato varieties, 20 quarts of canned tomatoes, frozen roasted sauce, frozen roasted tomatoes, some pints of hot pepper jam, and a run through all of our favorite tomato recipes. We've made the journey from the first few precious tiny Mexico Midgets to the dining room table covered with ripe tomatoes to a near complete absence, with just a few dribbling in every few days. 

Below is an array of pics taken between from mid July to the end of the month - it is a carousel - just click each pic to advance.

This speed-of-light trip through the peak of tomato season provides one of the reasons that they are so beloved....we eat for 12 months a year, but we get to eat great, home grown tomatoes for only a fraction of that span - peak harvest is really one month out of those 12, or only 8% of the year. 

I will do a few upcoming blogs on revelations of results from the various projects and mysteries, and dive into the details. Let's keep this one short, though.

It was a really good tomato season, a fairly poor pepper year, in the middle for eggplants, and a disaster for basil. Tomatoes were plentiful, generally healthy, and absolutely delicious. I have some ideas on why this year was so much better than the last handful that I will share when I do a more in depth analysis of the 2017 season. Peppers were hit hard by bacterial spot - first time ever for me, and the disease wasn't fussy as to which varieties...it impacted them all. The big problem with basil was a big outbreak of downy mildew...once again, my first battle with the devastating affliction. Sadly, there will be no pesto this year (unless we make it from purchased basil).

Below are some pics taken between August 1 and today....just a random sampling.

One more thing I wish to share, in the "chip off the old block" department. In April I shipped plants to my daughters Sara, in Olalla Washington (south of Seattle, near Gig Harbor), and Caitlin, in Abilene Texas. As expected, Sara is grappling with foliage disease and delayed fruit ripening due to weather conditions (patience, Sara - they will ripen!).

Caitlin, on the other hand, is replicating my success with containers in her yard - check out some pictures below. She and Patrick are having a blast eating Sun Gold, Mexico Midget, Egg Yolk, Rosella Crimson, Caitlin's Lucky Stripe, Dwarf Wild Fred, and others. I am so pleased that my girls share my love of gardening, growing great tasting tomatoes, and cooking!