Sunday, July 28, 2013

Garden Update: Summer's Bounty

Since I last did a garden update, just a little over a week ago, things have taken off. The green beans have slowed down, but the tomatoes have taken their place. Canning season has started with our first batch of tomatoes today. I have also been making half sour pickles with the cucumbers from the garden (This isn't the recipe that I used, but it is pretty close and the method is nearly the same).
We have so many cherry tomatoes that I wound up drying nearly five trays of them to make "sun" dried tomatoes. Since tomatoes have a lot of water and also have fairly tough skins, they take a long time to dry (over 24 hours).  We have red and yellow pear tomatoes and sun sugar golds.
This one wound up a little dark, but this morning, I cut up all of the large tomatoes we had picked to can them. We have Brandywines, which are a very tasty, meaty pink tomato, and Cherokee Purples, which are a dark red-purple tomato. Both are heirloom tomatoes.
We canned 6 1/2 quarts of crushed tomatoes this morning.
 Our first sweet corn.
Our first ripe watermelon! After picking one too early a few weeks ago, we were a little scared to try again, but we were rewarded this time with a very sweet melon.
An interesting bug on our tomatoes this morning. It looks a little like a wasp, but doesn't have the narrow waist that wasps typically have.  Any ideas (click to enlarge)? Thanks to the anonymous commenter who identified this critter as a Robber Fly (Asilidae family), another beneficial garden insect.
The lone sunflower that survived the groundhogs. This is a Mexican sunflower and is about six inches across.


  1. Beautiful garden! I think your bug might be a robber fly.

  2. Thanks! I agree that it definitely looks like a robber fly. I added some text to that effect to the photo.