Thursday, July 28, 2011

I've got lovely bunch of coconuts, diddly-dee

Well, maybe not coconuts. But we do have a watermelon, and it is the size of Ardis's head. There are a few others on the vine besides the noggin size one, but they are all slowly shriveling in the heat. Ardis has begun an ever-faithful watermelon check each time we go out into the yard. She insists that we go and "see it"- which involves a bit of hide-n-seek in the weeds around the vine and ends with a Buddha belly-esque pat/rub. We've talked multiple times about letting the melon grow big so we can eat it "all up." She continues to tell me that we need to let it grow "itty-bitty" so she can eat it. We'll see what happens in a month or so.

The cantaloupe continue to grow. They aren't growing as rapidly as I thought they might, but at the very least they are not shriveling in the heat. They continue to be a prickly, green with the largest just slightly smaller than a baseball.

The tomatoes are lovely. The heat has slowed their production some, but we still have a window full of ripening beauties. I've frozen a quart's worth so far and look forward to putting more away. Hopefully, the addition of a new chest freezer in upcoming weeks will help with that process. I've been excited because the Roma tomatoes that I planted have turned out to be regular sized Romas not the grape tomato size "Juliet." While I love the Juliet-size, regulars mean more tomatoes for spaghetti and chili.

Our 5 little Edamame plants are covered in seed pods that continue to get fatter and fatter. I really look forward to the day when Jesse toasts them. I'm sure that there will only be enough for each of us to have a few, but they are oh so tasty! Ardis really enjoyed them last year. I can only hope she feels the same way this year. Of course, the toasted edamame will only lead to a secret longing for toasted pumpkin seeds, toasted butternut squash seeds, toasted seeds, in general.

Which leads me to my next topic: sunflowers! I planted a few mammoth sunflowers at the beginning of the summer and have been watching as they grow ever closer to the sky. One is likely close to 7 or 8 feet tall at this point. They bloomed a week or so ago. Lovely, bright blooms that were the size of salad plates.

The shorter one in this picture is taller than my 5' 4" frame.

Out of sheer curiosity, I "googled" how one would harvest sunflower seeds. Generally, I found that the sunflowers are left on the stalk "until the birds show up." Excellent! Another step in the process that requires little to no effort on my part. Now the blooms hang heavy, and the individual seeds can be seen growing bigger and bigger. I'm rather excited. Perhaps, we'll be privy to toasted sunflower seeds this year?

I also regret at this time to announce the passing of our last pecan tree. It baked to death in our mudroom one long weekend in July. We've duly placed it in the compost pile with hope that in its next incarnation, it returns as something self watering.

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