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Is this winter?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Well, the calendar says that it's December, but the garden still thinks it's early November.  Our warm fall with mild weather has allowed many of our plants to continue producing fruit well past their usual harvest dates. 

Our tomato plants, usually dead by the first week of November, are slowing down, but they are alive!  We are still nibbling a few handfuls of cherry tomatoes each week.  The ground cherry plants are also continuing to have a large steady harvest, and there is plenty of fruit still on the vines so I expect it to continue for at least a few more weeks.

The passion fruit is finally starting to ripen on the vine, too.  We have been harvesting them green for past few months and they ripen nicely in the kitchen.  The fruit still on the plants outside are starting to turn purple on their own now.  This is the biggest passion fruit harvest season we have had so far, with about 70 fruits expected all together.  (Last year when the two vines were new, we had just 20 pieces of fruit.)  Not a single one will go to waste--if my 4 year old has anything to say about it!

There are also plenty of citrus fruits in the garden now, too.  The Meyer lemon trees have a mixture of last year's deep yellow/orange fruit (down to a small number now) and the almost-ripe yellow-green lemons that are just coming in for this season.  It looks like it will be another good harvest next month.  Our kaffir lime tree is lush and green, and has many limes on it.  The Bearss lime tree also has ripe limes now, although the tree seems to be having some trouble with dead branches here and there (an ongoing problem for this tree).

I harvested the last of the basil last week, just before a cold snap, and we had our last taste of Capresi salad (with fresh tomatoes) for a while.  Most of our herbs are thriving:  we have plenty of parsley, thyme, oregano, sage, and rosemary.  Our hardy sorrel plants keep pumping out tender green leaves with sharp lemon flavor.  The small patch of oxalis ("sour grass") in our yard is also starting to come up, to the delight of my children.  The nasturtiums are blooming now, and cover a portion of the garden with their cheerful peppery flowers.


All opinions expressed are my own.
Copyright 2007 Sharon Danks