My cherry tomato plants have been popping out plenty of yummy morsels of heaven. Very few have made it indoors and none have actually made it to a salad. I’ll put a small handful in a bowl on the counter, and they’ll be gone in very short order. Everybody should have a cherry tomato plant growing in their yard.

My plant with the big red tomatoes has been producing a good number of fruit as well. I’ve had probably 30% of the crop lost to bugs of some kind: worms, and this nasty black beetle thingy. Bill suggested a pesticide, but I just couldn’t do it. I eat that stuff. Yes, I buy regular veggies at the store and I know they’ve been sprayed…but I don’t see that happening. I just can’t knowingly spray my own food. If you think I’m crazy, you and my husband can shake your heads at me together. The big tomatoes are quite good and we’ve been enjoying BLTs, burgers and grilled cheese with thick slabs of deliciousness.

I was really frustrated by my 4th plant which had a plethora of tomatoes, but before they had a chance to turn red, they would rot away, victimized by an unseen menace. I finally figured out this weekend that the culprit was TIME. They weren’t red tomatoes, they were yellow tomatoes, so they had gotten overripe and then rotted on the vine. Lesson: know your tomatoes.

Finally, here’s the dessert we had last night: berry dessert pizza. The dough is sugar cookie dough. The sauce is cream cheese frosting, and I used strawberries and blueberries for topping. If you really love your family, you will make it from scratch, of course. But just in case you feel pinched for time or there is a great sale at the local supermarket, one package of store-bought dough and one container of frosting are the perfect amounts for the pie. I thought I was doing a great service by neatly arranging the berries instead of just tossing them on. One caveat: this pizza does not keep. The cookie will be soggy by morning, so be generous in dishing it out.

Enjoy your holiday Monday.

How my garden does grow

This is my first year doing a raised bed with a square-foot gardening mentality. I went small scale this year to see how things would go (and because I had a limited budget). Here it is.

These are my tomatoes gone wild. Normally, tomatoes should be spaced 2 to 3 feet apart. The square foot garden system I followed seemed to think you can squeeze something in between. There is a basil plant in there. Actually, there are two, but the second one is definitely not thriving. It’s hard to get sunlight when you have enormous tomato plants hovering over you.

Here is the healthy basil plant. Well, it was healthy. When I saw it yesterday, one section was completely covered with an unidentifiable (by me) bug. I haven’t had the heart to check out the plant today. This plant was nearly defoliated for a dish for my party a few weeks ago, but it bounced right back.

I have 4 different tomato varieties growing. I can’t remember exactly what I planted, but some are big and some are small. All are growing right now, so in another month, I’ll be seeing lots and lots of red.

Isn’t this one pretty?

I love tomatoes.

These cherry tomatoes might never make it to the inside of my house. They are so yummy warmed by the sun and straight off the vine.

Having never grown broccoli, I had no idea what to expect from these large leafy things. I squealed with joy when I saw the florets sprouting from the tops the other day.

They are for dinner tonight.

I harvested this crookneck squash the other day as well.

Lots of flowers on the pumpkin vine and I did finally notice a fruit growing. The last time I tried pumpkins, the bugs got most of them and a woodchuck finished what they left behind. Maybe this is the year for truly fresh pumpkin pie.

I really think this is a watermelon vine and flower. I thought it was dead and just looped it around the trellis and hoped for the best.

I was very excited to see this tiny fruit last weekend, and I noticed one or two others yesterday. I’m still not confident the plant will survive; it’s such a straggly thing. We shall see.

It is nice to have a garden, and nothing tastes better than your own grown vegetables. But I am very glad I can head to the local produce stand or grocery store for things my little bed fails to grow.

Next year, I will definitely give the tomatoes more room.