19 June 2012

gardens in full swing

The decorative garden around the patio and the food gardens are in full swing with these hot (81F today) summer days. The heavens have been merciful and yielded rains just when needed. Yesterday a brief downpour was a delight for the plant life.

This corn is a rare heirloom developed by the Cherokees, "Hickory King." Our source, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange says "85/110 days. [Pre-1875.] In the hills and hollows of Virginia this corn is still appreciated as a roasting and hominy corn. It is considered the best variety for hominy because the skin of the kernel is easily removed by soaking. Also good for grits, corn meal and flour. Makes a nice roasting corn (the old fashioned way of eating corn on the cob)... This variety grows extremely tall. Our stalks reach 12'. Some people use this variety for providing support for pole beans. Produces about 2 ears per stalk. Ears have very large, flat, creamy white kernels. Husks are tighter than most varieties and give excellent protection from beetles and earworm. Has good tolerance to northern leaf blights (H. turicum) and southern leaf blight."

The "Alibi" cucumbers, which were transplanted only The "Alibi" cucumbers transplanted just16 days ago are already blooming. Their neighbors in the garden, "Tender Grey" squash, are beginning to bloom as well (photo to the right). The Fuzzies planted "Tender Grey" a couple of years ago and it was a runaway success. The instructions said to let the fruits reach 24 ounces or more before picking; and indeed, they were correct as the flavor develops with size. Some of the tastiest weighed over 32 ounces. Mr. Fuzzy planted them last year but they were overwhelmed by insects, alas, We hope for better this year.

A few of the "Espanola" chile plants are also blooming even though the plants are still only four inches tall. Ah, how we long for fresh New Mexico chiles on the table...

The patio gardens have been under Mrs. Fuzzy's watchful eye and are stunning the eye with beauty.

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