For All Things, A Season

After waiting for it to be time to harvest a crop, it's amazing how quickly it can overrun your world.

I still remember how anxious I was for that first summer squash. I love squash, and I even start summer squash plants under grow lights to get a jump-start on the season. I tell myself that, before I know it, I'll have summer squash literally coming out of my ears.....but I don't care. I still get SO excited watching the baby squash grow to full size.

Right now, of course, I'm begging people to take them off my hands. And I'm trying to work them into every meal. I actually found a recipe for double chocolate zucchini bread that could be my saving grace this season. And that fried zucchini recipe ROCKS. Still, I laugh to think of how I yearned for that first squash.

Right now, we're all waiting for the tomatoes. They're such a coy fruit. There they sit, all plump and big.....and green. The first couple have ripened, but it's just a tease. There aren't enough to do more than dice them up on a salad. That flavor can't be beat, though. No tomato tastes right unless it's just been picked from the vine and is still warm from the sun.

Ah, but talk to me in a couple of weeks! I'll have no room. Well, it might be because I planted 75 tomato plants this year. OK, that might be going a TAD bit over-board. I will, I assure you, get to the point where I am handing them out to strangers walking down the street. Beware!

Still, I know that the day will come when the vines have withered and the cold has shut down production, and then I'll once again yearn for that abundance, for that exuberant production that the garden gives for the season.

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Margaret Estes July 24, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Hi Renee, I absolutely agree with you on the zucchini! We too are inundated! I have two recipes that are fabulous, light and lemony zucchini bread and chocolate zucchini bread. Both are always a huge hit and you can freeze them as well! I just was curious to know what the white stuff in your photo of the tomato is? Thank you, Margaret Estes
Renee Faubert July 24, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Oooh.....light and lemony zucchini bread sounds delish! I'm at Renee1966@hotmail.com if you ever share recipes! The white stuff in the picture is a new biodegradable weed block I'm trying out for the first time this year. Although it does tear a lot more easily than the black, permeable weed block I've used in the past it seems to be working pretty well, and then at the end of the season you just turn it into the soil. So far so good!
Leah Graves July 24, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Great post! We had to start over with a few things in the garden (cucumbers in particular) due to caterpillars eating the small plants. This year proved to be a good year for green beans (picked them for 3 weeks). I'm thinking of doing a second round of beans (we start them from seed).
Jim Rizoli July 24, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Soon you will be buried with tomatoes....Yikes! 75 plants hockie smokie If you need to get rid of some let me know. Jim@ccfiile.com
Renee Faubert July 24, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Thanks Leah! I'm glad you enjoyed my ramblings. I, too, am really loving succession planting. I actually plant bush beans every 2-3 weeks from spring until mid-summer, since they give you a big harvest but then peter out. I've been having a lot of success protecting my baby squash and cucumber plants from bugs using insect netting over hoops. Once they get big enough to uncover, they're strong enough to withstand the odd nibble from a caterpillar or cucumber beetle.
Renee Faubert July 24, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Hahaha! Yes, Jim, I am fully prepared for the onslaught of tomatoes in a couple of weeks. But I process them (canning, freezing, drying) and use the crop to feed my family for the whole year. Still, if you stop by the garden and smile sweetly at me I could probably be convinced to share a tomato with a neighbor!
Susan Petroni (Editor) July 24, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Double chocolate zucchini bread sounds divine!!! I typically like to grill zucchini with some eggplant and chicken - a summer stir-fry on the grill. And Margaret & Renee (and all our Patch readers and lurkers) feel free to share and post zucchini recipes!!!
Mary Ellen Kearnan July 24, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Would like thoose recipes for the lemony and chocolate zucchini bread if you care to share! mekearnan@verizon.net
Brenda Crawshaw July 24, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Don't forget about "sun" drying tomatoes in the oven. Then you can freeze them and have all that concentrated sweet summer goodness in the dead of winter in pastas, soups and on pizzas!
Renee Faubert July 25, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Susan, I MUST give credit where credit is due. The double chocolate zucchini bread can be found at http://melssweetlife.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/double-chocolate-zucchini-bread/, "The Sweet Life" blog. And she's local! I've gotten some OBSCENELY good recipes from that woman. She rocks.
Renee Faubert July 25, 2012 at 02:01 AM
Brenda, I've been subscribing to Cooks Illustrated since before it WAS Cook's Illustrated, and I preserve tomatoes in every way, shape, and form. I'm actually in the process of defrosting my full-size freezer, since I love IQF freezing whole cored tomatoes for use in the dead of winter. Freeze them individually, pack them in airtight bags, then when you need tomatoes for cooking toss them in a colander and run them under hot water for a minute. The skins slip off easily and you go from there!
Renee Faubert July 25, 2012 at 02:03 AM
OK Margaret, the pressure's on!


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