Sunday, June 7, 2009

A vegetable survey of Longview Ranch

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!


  1. Lemon drops and tomato/basil/mozzarella salad...I love the way you think Jane! Everything looks so healthy, did the storm last week play with your corn? It had ours flat but it seemed to recover fine.

  2. danger garden, I think like I like to eat!

    We had very little damage from the storm - a couple of the tomato plants were laying kind of sideways for a while but they perked right up by this weekend. The corn was unscathed.

  3. You have lemons with actual fruit? That hardly seems possible around here-bravo. Basil from seed? I haven't been that brave yet, but some day I'll try. I just bought a basil plant yesterday. It's been almost 10 years since I've had basil in the garden, but it has my mouth watering.Corn for screening... good idea, I might just copy you there. I have a fence area I might like to screen off from the neighbors.

  4. I saw a variegated corn from Seed Savers but forget what it's called - didn't plant it but it would make a super cool screen even if it only ended up being ornamental. Caprese salad is my favorite, even though I'm not a big tomato fan! Sometimes I cheat and just slide off the tomato part... I know, sacrilige. Have you thought about having your soil tested? Maybe it would stop you from worrying. I keep meaning to but haven't yet. I've heard the U Mass Ag School one is good.


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