Sunday, October 3, 2010

Garden Happenings

We've had a breezy couple of days, and the tomato plants have been toppling over. I harvested the red tomatoes off one horizontal plant before trying to stand it back up, but the plant refused to stay upright, no matter what I did. In the end, I picked the green tomatoes off, too, and removed the plant from the garden.

The problem, of course, is that I have those idiotic tomato cages from the store, the ones that are narrower at the base than at the top. They work just fine until about early August, but then the plants keep growing right out the tops, then they get weighed down with fruit. Add in a good wind, and the weight drags them right over.

I would have made those big cylinders out of heavy wire fencing that Grandpa Bill and so many other sensible people use for tomato cages, but I have seen something I like better. At the Plant-a-Row-for-the-Hungry garden this year, we tried Texas Tomato Cages, and they worked very well. None of them toppled, they were easy to set up, and they store flat! They are a bit pricey, but I am going to start saving up. They seem worthwhile.

When I picked the green tomatoes, I saw a couple of small dill plants (thank goodness for volunteers!) and picked them, too. Joe has had a spectacular case of pickle-mania this summer, and it isn't over yet. Making green tomato pickles is on his list of "things to do" this evening.

While I was out working on tomato plants, one of the "little rascals" pointed to the corner of the garden and asked, "what's that?" I looked over and saw puffballs! Before I got back with the camera, she had poked the biggest one pretty hard, and the finger-pokes show up in the picture.

I sliced the big one in half, to make sure it was good inside. Puffballs are good to eat, but only if the insides are still white all the way through. Also, puffballs get maggot-y things inside, so checking for those is a good idea. This one looks good! We will be eating it tonight with supper. If everyone likes it well enough, we will harvest the others to eat, too.

The really great thing about having puffballs show up right in the garden, in the corner by the horehound where there have never been puffballs before, is that I kind of needed to see a fun fungus today. I missed the last couple of weekends of mushroom walks with the Mushroom Club of Georgia. Last weekend I didn't feel well and this weekend I had too much work, but the funny mushrooms showing up in my yard were a nice surprise!

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