Tomato flowers and beans galore

We just returned from a glorious weekend in Lexington (and a HUGE thanks to the T family for taking us in yet again–we soo love visiting with you all!), and I was thrilled upon our return today to see that not only had our tomato plants up front had started to flower, but our green beans and burgundy beans had long, slender fruit hanging from the plants.  I’m thinking that by the end of the week we’ll be able to have a delicious and fresh beans for dinner.

 

 

Marigold Pairing

The other day our sweet across the street neighbors invited us over to take a peek at their gardens in the back.  They are certainly accomplished gardeners, and have been incredibly helpful in establishing some of our gardens.  Rusty was most proud, though, of his tomatoes, which much to my disbelief were almost as tall as I am and had several green tomatoes clinging to the vine.

Ours are not looking this good.

JGL immediately noticed that the plants were also free of those pesky little holes from where bugs and other critters nibble, and when he asked how they prevented that, Rusty pointed to the base of the plant and simply said, “Marigolds.”  For every plant there was a companion Marigold, which apparently helps prevents the bugs, deer, and other unmentionable critters from feasting on a harvest.

Considering that I remembered that a flat of 6 marigold plants were on sale for 99 cents a piece, let’s just say all of our plants are snuggling up close to a friend right about now.

Shuck this!

I like to think that I’m well-educated and mindful enough to know how long something takes to make and how much it will make.  So when I took that picture of the beautiful basket of peas last night, I thought to myself, “we’ll shuck these bad boys while JGL watches Lost, it’ll take no time at all, and then we’ll have peas for tomorrow and peas to freeze!”

Exactly halfway through the epic and long series ender of Lost later, I was just finishing the shucking, and hadn’t even made my way to freezing; there was also exactly one pound of peas sitting in front of me.  One freaking pound.

Let me preface this story with the fact that I don’t remember fresh peas being served at meals when I was growing up in MA.  We would pick big paper grocery bags full of them, and promptly sit some where and eat the whole bag.  Unless I’m remembering completely wrong here (and I’m sure my mother will correct me if I’m wrong (;), peas were more like natures candy grab bag, and less of something to save for later. 

So last night once everything was in the freezer for the first round of freezing was completed (today I’ll be bagging the pound up, marking, and putting it away for later), I plopped down on the couch, literally with green thumbs in tow, and sighed.  JGL (at the commercial break) leaned over and say, “I’m sorry–I know that was a lot of work for not a lot of peas.”

And let me tell you, it was–we planted them back in March, made trellises once, and now twice, diligently put up a fence to keep critters out, and spent an hour of so last night lifting the vines on to the new trellises, picking all the way.  It’s taken three months and several long hours to get a pound of peas.  Peas that if we go up to our neighborhood big box grocery store will be 98 cents a pound, frozen (I know this because if the nature’s candy binge picture I painted for you above didn’t spell it out, I EAT PEAS WITH EVERYTHING).

I looked at him, smiled and sighed again and said, “I’m not.”

I like to think I’m well-educated and mindful enough to know long something takes to make.  I obviously have a lot more learning to do.