What’s growin’?

It’s been an interesting summer to get back into vegetable growing. I got my allotment garden planted by the end of May. Since then, it’s been a matter of weeding and watering. I could have been doing more of both.

It’s been very dry. Until Sunday, our rainfall for the month of July was 3mm. I was watering twice a week, but decided that with our heat and lack of rain, I really needed to increase that to every second day. I water for about an hour — listen to some tunes on my iPod, make sure there’s enough water to go deep into the ground.

Today I noticed some flowers on my Caspian pink tomato for the first time. It’s an heirloom variety, and hasn’t been doing much in the garden. I got it a couple of weeks later than everything else — it came from Urban Harvest, at the Leslieville Farmers Market.

I’ve had one zucchini — I harvested it young, about 5-6 inches long, cut it into spears and barbecued it one night along with some corn on the cob and a steak. That made for a tasty dinner. I haven’t had any others at all: I’ve had flowers, but no resulting fruit.

Here are some pictures of my garden from this morning’s trip.

These are San Marzano type paste tomatoes. An heirloom variety, true Italians would get riled and say that they can’t be True San Marzanos because they’re not being grown in San Marzano, and everyone knows that it is the terroir that makes it what it is. They’re right. But these were sold as San Marzanos, so I don’t know what else to call them. They’re not Romas, which I’m also growing.

Paste tomatoes

This will be a sweet red pepper. It’s quite small — about an inch across — but you can get the sense of it being a pepper already.

Sweet red pepper

This will be interesting. This is a Hot Portuguese. How hot is hot? To be determined!

Hot Portuguese Pepper

Here are some eating tomatoes. Sandy’s bugging me about when I’ll be serving Caprese salad! Based on the color and size of these, it will be a while, yet. These are called Sweet Millions.

Sweet Millions

This is a medium-sized eating tomato — between heirloom beefsteaky size and cherry tomatoes. Just right for salad. Actually, these are the ones that I want to use in a Caprese salad (if I use cherry tomatoes, I’ll want to use those little pearl-sized bocconcini) . It’s very pale at this point. Name? Early Girl. Let’s see how early she is.

Early Girl

Here’s my Swiss Chard. Still only about 6″ high, so I’ve been reluctant to start harvesting it. Only a couple of holes munched in it — it has fared better than my mesclun mix, definitely.


One of my neighbours down at the allotment garden gave me some yellow beans to plant. I’ve almost got some ready to harvest! I think. How do you know when yellow beans are ready to eat?

Yellow beans

This one’s not for eating. This is one of my two birdhouse gourd plants. I’m hoping I’ll get some gourds that I can dry and drill holes into, and turn either into appropriately-sized bird houses for cavity nesters, or some cute little bird feeders to hang from the lilac, sand cherry, and elderberry (because one can never have too many bird feeders). The leaves on the vine are quite beautiful.

Birdhouse gourd

I’ll post more pictures as things ripen. I saw a little bunny today. I hope it doesn’t eat too much of my stuff.

This entry was posted in Allotment garden, City life, Food, Food, grown, Gardening by pat. Bookmark the permalink.

About pat

Visual thinker, first got interested in digital imagery in the early days of Omni magazine, back when it used to review what had happened at SIGGraph. I worked in the 3D software field for 23 years. Lifelong enjoyment of gardening grew over time; I was a Master Gardener (briefly) and had a vegetable and herb allotment garden in Toronto to grow vegetables, as well as perennial gardens at home. Gardening and enjoying fresh produce also raised my interest in cooking with really good local food. As more restaurants in Toronto are offering local fare, I enjoy dining out and sampling the visions the different chefs have.

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