Saturday, June 27, 2009

Come and Get It!

Saturday mornings are the only time of the week that I'm able to treat us to a nice homemade breakfast. This morning I was inspired by the Fine Verde Basil that's been flourishing these first days of summer. In past years, I've always grown traditional basil with the big fat leaves. This year is a bit of a departure for me - my heirloom basil is loaded with tons of fine sweet little anisey leaves that look almost like thyme:

For breakfast, first I scrambled some eggs with fresh basil and black pepper. Then I sauteed some cremini mushrooms and red onion until nice and browned. Quartered cherry tomatoes and more fresh basil topped it off:

Deee-licious! I can't wait until I'm able to use fresh tomatoes from MY garden instead of the store.

Speaking of the garden, things are still coming along nicely. Whatever was nipping at my tomato blossoms seems to have stopped and I'm seeing lots of shy little green tomatoes peeking out from under their fuzzy caps. The peppers have started taking off, too - plenty of little green ones out there.

I'm seeing something very interesting going on with the Fish Pepper. I have three plants growing, and two are fairly uniformly green, but the third is a variegated white and green. This holds true for both the leaves AND the first little pepper I saw this morning:

Curious to me how there could be such differences within the same variety of plant - maybe this is due to the fact that they're heirloom? It's gorgeous and I can't wait to see how hot (or not hot) a Fish Pepper is.

I had been noticing a strange beetle lurking around my squash, zucchini, and melon plants over the past few weeks. It's about the size of a grain of rice and has yellow and black stripes. From what I can tell, it appears to be a Cucumber Beetle and he has been feasting on my cucurbits. The leaves are spotty and lacy and one of my melon plants even wilted up and died. I'm hoping that the beetles will just go away as the plants get bigger and stronger and the leaves aren't as tender. So far I've managed to stay completely organic this year and I'd like to keep it that way.

The Cucumber Beetles got me thinking about how odd it is that you never seem to have the same pest problems two years in a row. Last year I had major aphid problems but nothing else. This year the aphids were very minimal but I'm dealing with these cucurbit monsters. I guess Mother Nature likes to keep us on our toes - wouldn't want us gardeners to get too complacent, now would she?

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