When we moved into Longview Ranch, we didn't think we'd be growing vegetables except in containers. But since we've added clean soil, and kept the garden pesticide and insecticide free for two years it feels safer to grow food in the ground. That, coupled with our expanse of yet-to-fill-in garden beds, prompted us to get a little giddy and add some veggies in with our ornamentals.
We've had tomatoes in barrels for the three summers we've lived at Longview Ranch. This year they're holding a Bonny Best, an Early Girl and after much searching, a San Marzano plum-type the wonderful folks at Pistils saved for us.
Then we added a Stupice to the Northwest Territory. It's an ultra-early heirloom tomato and one of our favorites. We also have a Better Boy and a Brandywine in the south backgarden.
Also off-theme in the Northwest area are three squashes: the Cue Ball and the Black Beauty zucchini are summer squashes, and we added a Table Ace acorn squash that will run around the berm as it matures.
Rounding out the array are two Ichiban oriental eggplants (perfect for grilling when they are ripe) and some Brocade corn. The corn went in mostly for its screening ability but we might enjoy a few ears when it ripens if we get enough pollination on our modest little patch of six plants.
I started some basil in a pot, and I'll transplant it into the garden beds once it gets a few more leaves. I'm looking forward to one of my favorite summer dishes: sliced tomatoes and fresh mozarella dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a chiffonade of basil leaves.
With the ripening Meyer lemons, I can also envision sipping a home-made lemon drop on the deck this summer. Bon appetit!