Archive for the 'Gardening' Category

More Garden Bounty

more bounty august 2020

Here’s a picture snapped over the weekend. The photo is deceiving – the current tomatoes are small, the largest ones are the size of a big apricot. I did however harvest 7 packed cups of basil leaves. Enough for a large jar of pesto! This year has not been a good one for tomatoes. The big rains we’ve had have taken a toll on my tomato plants. Some have died and the remainder are producing less and smaller fruit. Surprisingly, the basil plants have thrived. Probably because they are planted in well drained pots. Oh well, I’ll take what I can get…

Hope you’re enjoying the remains of summer!

Bruno

First Tomatoes 2020

St. Louis has been pummeled by rain during the past week. We’ve had several torrential downpours and many of my tomatoes were starting to split open from the excessive water. I decided to harvest the nearly ripe ones yesterday before they were ruined. Some were already starting to rot at the spots where they were touching each other. After cutting away the bad spots from a big tomato, I made a caprese salad for lunch today with mozzarella di bufala that I picked up at the wine shop where I work. Drizzled w/ an aged balsamic vinegar from Italy and served w/ tuna packed in olive oil… life was good as I momentarily forgot about the pandemic that is ravaging Missouri and St. Louis as well as the rest of the country! Tonight’s dinner will be a curried pork stir fry which will include some garden fresh tomatoes and Thai basil. Looking forward to more goodness!

Here are a couple of photos taken yesterday (August 1st):

tomatoes1 2020

tomatoes2 2020

Be well…

Bruno

Garden 2020 – Update #1

Summer is definitely upon us in St. Louis! Temperatures have been in the 90’s for the past couple of weeks but there has been good soaking rainfall weekly. The plants are looking healthy and have started producing. If you enlarge the photos you’ll see some Cherokee Purple tomatoes and Jalapeno peppers coming in. I’ve already harvested some chard and basil to use in various recipes. The wildflowers are doing well too. The only thing that looks kind of scraggily is my patch of herbs. The sage and chives came back fairly well, however the tarragon and oregano didn’t. I’m letting them go to seed in hopes that I’ll have stronger and fuller plants next year.

Here are a few photos taken on July 9th:

garden2 July 9 2020

garden1 July 9 2020

garden3 July 9 2020

garden4 July 9 2020

garden5 July 9 2020

Happy Gardening!

Bruno

 

Garden 2020

garden2 June 14 2020 photos taken June 14th

garden1 June 14 2020

What a pleasure it is to be outside again playing in the dirt! The last several months have been crazy to say the least as a result of  Covid 19. I’m hoping this will be a good gardening year to temporarily take my mind off of  virus related news.

Again, I’ve shrunk the amount of veggies going into the enclosure this year. Less plants and only what has produced well in past seasons. St. Louis had a lot of rain in May but now there’s been a good stretch of dry weather allowing the plants to get well established.

In the garden this year are: 4 Cherokee Purple and 4 Cuore Di Bue tomatoes, 4 Swiss chard, 2 Padron and 2 Jalapeno peppers. In the pots are Genovese and Thai basil.

Green thumbs up!!

Bruno

Garden Bounty 9/11/19

garden bounty 9-11-19

Summer’s winding down so I’m taking advantage of the remaining days of fresh picked produce. Hope you are too!

Yum, yum….

Bruno

Tomato Still Life

tomato still life 8-7-19

These beauties were picked from the garden yesterday. The one on the left is a Cuore Di Bue and on the right is a Cherokee Purple. I love the beautiful colors!

Bruno

First Tomato… and Caprese

Picked the first tomato of the season a couple of days ago. The first to ripen was a Cuore Di Bue (ox heart) shown in the first photo below. It was huge, but was more of a standard shape. The second photo of the green tomato looks more like a heart to me. In the third photo I placed it next to a 1 cup measuring cup so you can get a better impression of how big the ripe one is. It made for a delicious caprese salad for my dinner last night!

 

Photos taken on 7/23/19:

first tomato2 2019

first tomato1 2019

first tomato3 2019

caprese1 2019 Caprese with aged balsamic vinegar/olive oil drizzle and a sprinkle of black pepper/Maldon sea salt

caprese2 2019

 

Looking forward to more summer yums in the near future…

Bruno

Garden 2019 – Update #1

It looks like letting the garden go fallow for a year has made a big difference. All the plants look healthy and strong. I harvested some of the chard last week, sautéed it w/ some crimini mushrooms, andouille sausage and fresh basil then folded it into pasta for a delicious dinner! The tomatoes and peppers are starting to produce, so caprese salads are in my near future. Ahh… the joys of summer!

The following photos were taken on July 5th, except for the one of the Cuore Di Bue tomato which was taken on July 7th.

garden1 7-5-19

garden2 7-5-19

garden3 7-5-19

garden4 7-5-19

garden5 7-5-19

garden6 7-5-19

garden1 7-7-2019

Stay cool!

Bruno

Garden 2019

Welcome to this year’s edition of Bruno’s garden! This year the theme is “less is more”. I decided to reduce the amount of plants so it will be easier to rotate plantings next year. Seeded on April 2nd and transplanted on May 19th, there are 9 tomato plants 3 Cuore Di Bue (an Italian heirloom shaped like an ox heart), 3 Cherokee Purple and 3 Black Krim; 4 chard plants (Five Color Silverbeet); and 3 hot pepper plants (Padron and Early Jalapeno). It’s the first time I’ve tried growing the Cuore Di Bue tomatoes and Padron peppers. If they do well I’ll plant them again next year. The basil was seeded on May 28th. In the large, round pots is Italian Genovese basil and in the rectangular pot is Sweet Thai basil. So far, all the plants are thriving.

With all the rain that’s fallen this year (almost too much) the wildflowers are growing like crazy (and unfortunately so are the weeds!). If you enlarge the photos you’ll notice the blooms are about to burst open w/ color. It reminds me of a fireworks display exploding when all the colorful blooms burst open!

Here are a few photos taken on 6/14:

garden1 2019

garden2 2019 herbs

garden3 2019 veggies

garden4 2019 basil

garden5 2019 wildflowers

garden6 2019 wildflowers

Cheers to a great growing season!!

Bruno

Garden 2018

Well, this year’s garden may surprise you. The last few years have been progressively worse and worse w/ my tomato plants despite efforts at crop rotation and soil replenishment. I decided to let my veggie plot go fallow this year, planting only a cover crop of Dutch clover to reenergize the soil. It was a tough decision, but I was tired of watching my tomato plants shrivel up and die year after year. In the fall I’ll till the clover into the soil and amend w/ some peat moss. Hopefully this will do the trick so next year I will have a healthy crop once again.

As you will see in the photos, I moved the herbs to the sunny spot where I had been growing zinnias. The herbs are now flourishing! In the pots next to the enclosure I have three type of basil growing – from left to right are Italian Genovese, Holy (also known as Tulsi) and Siam Queen (a variety of Thai basil). Looks like there will be plenty for pesto this fall! The perennials are doing great too.

Garden4 2018

Garden3 2018

Garden2 2018

Garden1 2018

Happy Summer!

Bruno