This morning I picked a few more tomatoes, to roast. Visiting the garden, before the sun was too high, I could see that it was time for the beds to enjoy a deep, generous soaking. Geoff and I added drip irrigation, which has been very nice help... except we are still working out some pressure issues... definitely time to install those pressure regulators.
See the sunflower in the foreground? Maria planted that seed at school, and brought it home in a paper cup, last spring. So, the two dark-centered flowers are the ones she started, and the rest we planted together, to keep hers company. I know. They're much too much close together, but I can never bear to thin plants. I get so eager and delighted with each sprout, and knowing that thinning is beneficial never makes enough sense to my emotional state of mind when I see them enduring and growing. Never mind. They look happy enough, to me.
I took some larger tomatoes inside, and started on my first venture into slow roasting.
I sliced them.
Allow me to interrupt myself, thank you. Who loves their knife sharpener? We need one, because I might have had as much luck slicing these poor dears with a spork, our knives are so dull.
As best I could, I sliced the tomatoes. Then I laid them on parchment paper, over a cookie sheet, dashed a tiny bit of flaky, kosher salt, and whole, tiny garlic cloves. On half of the tomatoes I added a scant sprinkling of Italian seasoning, and over everything I drizzled olive oil.
Allow me to interrupt myself, thank you. I need a drizzler, too. Sometimes the oil drizzled nicely, and sometimes it puddled. Hmmmm.
The whole tray went into a 350 degree oven. I did not time them. I let them go, until it smelled good. And while they slow roasted, I went out to give the garden that long cool drink I promised.
The texture of the face looks almost like velvet, and the bees are enchanted, dazzled, charmed.
We planted three varieties of sunflowers. Let's call them tall, taller, and really tall. And Maria's are a mystery variety. Crouching beneath them, Maria and I imagine Stuart Little walking in our garden, like a redwood forest for a mouse-like boy.
This bed has cucumber, and Anaheim peppers, and a fading dill.
One more question, please... if we want to collect dill seeds, should we let them dry on the flower, or pick them now, and dry them in a cool, dark place? I am pretending we are going to make pickles. Sometimes, when I pretend, real things happen.
The second bed is a mixed up situation of strawberries and volunteer tomatoes. I don't think either plant is faring particularly well in the shared company, but they manage well enough that I cannot imagine pulling anything up, starting anew.
The far bed has two hearty, mighty, thriving heirloom tomatoes, and in their shade the last of some sweet carrots. I really must plant more carrots, and cilantro. Both are so absurdly easy to grow, I should never be without.
I don't know much about dill. I like it in egg salad, and sour cream dips. I am enjoying the faded flower heads. Now, to figure out the collecting of those seeds.
Tendrils. Even the word vines and wraps it's determined self, holding firmly, gracefully. If this early growth is any indication, we may actually get to enjoy cucumbers, this year. I am sure none of us wants to recall the garden year that wasn't. It seemed like 2011 was not a great year for anyone's green thumbs. Thank goodness for new years, and keeping faith.
Time for mulch. Real heat is beginning to settle in, and our thirstier plants need all the help we can give them.
He was all purr and fur, last night. Normally he sleeps downstairs, but he came to visit us, and he could not get enough love and affection. RrrrrrrrrrRrrrrrrrrRrrrrrrrrMrow
They say roasting tomatoes sweetens them. These little cherry tomatoes taste as though I've candied them. They are kind of ridiculously sweet. We are eating loads of them. Maria has a handful with every meal. Too bad they don't grow in February!
Ready for another question? This white fig tree is about two years old, and this is the first remarkable quantity of fruit we've seen, but nothing's happening. Every day I find a hard fruit, on the ground, and no hint of ripening. Alright, my first suspicion is lack of water... do you agree that more water could make a difference? I am going to redouble my efforts, and make sure this dear never goes dry.
Here is a pumpkin vine that we actually planted. We have already harvested pumpkins, from all the compost volunteers, now this lovingly tended pumpkin pie plant is spreading out and thriving. What would Stuart Little make of this?
Then, I recall... something in the oven. I dash inside. It smells really good.
It smells really, really good. And it tastes even better!
I am already thinking of our favorite bread, spread with these tomatoes, and roasted garlic... oh my.