Oh, this season fills me full of ideas, and tomatoes.
This last load came in yesterday. I've been just squishing them in their own juice and adding lemon and salt. This time there are so many San Marzanos, maybe I will do them separate from the others. I recall a year in which the Brandywines were pink and very different tasting than the beefsteaks. They must have done some crazy cross-pollinating this year, because the only distinguishing characteristic is the heirloomy cracks and puckers that some display. And the fact that all the 'Brandywines' set and ripened so much faster. Mystery. What tomatoes we grow next year are gonna live in the boxes attached to the neighbors house anyway, and I'll probably just buy starts because eff tomatoes already. Although what am I doing talking trash, since in this challenging summer they have produced beautifully and I basically ignored them completely starting in July. It will help to have them alone so I can not water them at all once they set fruit. Basically, the only time I want to eat tomatoes is in July, and they never ripen til August. So. Corn and pole beans next summer.
In other notes, don't grow any of those stupid yellow cucumbers. or those other lumpy, smooth skinned ones (where do I get these seeds?) - grow only the ones from last year, pictured above, that grow long and skinny with spines. And try to get some seed for some tiny pickling ones, maybe even gerkhins.
Beets. The triumph of beets. Grow more.
Carrots. Grow less unto the point of none. Spend all your farmer's market money on the amazing nantes that the professionals grow. And on peaches, but not, please, on apples, which you are going to turn to sauce anyway.
Lettuce. You can never be too good at timing with garden greens. It is so hard and so worth it.
Which brings us to: slugs. Turns out, all that lovely newspaper and straw that has been making the pathways so nice for our feet has also been a slug breeding ground. Ditto the grass along the edge of the beds which is so lush and impossible to cut with anything but shears. So, hopefully we will get some free bark chips soon and I will have a killing spree before the next round of arugula comes up (er, gets planted). Since the last - big - planting came to literally nothing more than a healthy generation of slugs.
Which brings us to the sad but also happy fact there are no longer around here any permanent residents who eat slugs. After the summer of disappearing chickens, our last, lonely, traumatized girl went home with Amber in a cardboard box under a bag of free bread. It might be a while before we try again, and that's ok. My vision for this little plot of ours is less and less about covering every inch with straw and poop. I'm gonna try to put some energy and money into the food forest part of the garden this next year, and maybe we'll join a CSA in the spring, and we can try to visit that farm, and Zenger, and Sweetwater, and all the animals around our neighborhood a little more, and just generally try some different things and feel fresh.