The garden season is wrapping up, and things are happening in the garden! It's time to start bringing large quantities of the last of the garden goodies in and trying to find ways of preserving them. Like, really, am I going to want to eat this many tomatoes and Asian pears in a few days?
First - this bowl. These mixing bowls are big, and the majority of the bowl is filled with not-quite-ripe paste tomatoes, most of which are already dropping off the plants. I figure it's a combination of the plants being about dead, and the night temps getting down into the high 40s already. There's also some small slicing tomatoes, some jalapenos, a couple green bell peppers (Brett'll love these), what little bit of the fall lettuce I planted awhile back that HASN'T decided to bolt in the last week (what's up with that!?), and some of the spring broccoli that's still going (one of the little broccolis below is actually from one of the plantings for fall - and even those look like they're tempted to bolt!) The really leggy broccoli is probably going to be a bit bitter - that'll get steamed and fed to the dogs for a treat.
And in the other jumbo sized bowl (compare it to the glass of iced tea behind it) is Asian pears - I'm pretty certain that's Chojuro on the left, and maybe Starking Harding Giant on the right.
Unfortunately, when I put in the Asian pears I got a three-pack mix, each with a tag on it. That was the same year we got Doogie and, as a puppy, he went out at chewed on two of the trees that were in range of his leash when put out to go to the bathroom. He did this over winter, and I wasn't out there much, and didn't realize he was doing it. I dug up and potted both trees, just in case, but figured they were goners. The Chojuro (?) survived, put out new growth under the chew-line, and has actually been the most productive tree the last couple years (that's not saying much). And it's SUPER dwarf that's to Doogie's fine pruning skills. Anyhow - lost one tree, and then at some point the tags sorta faded or disappeared....
I only gave the trees an early spray of kaolin clay spray once this spring - it's not a pesticide or herbicide - it just creates a protective coating. Thing is - you have to keep spraying after rain, and we had A LOT of rain, and I never kept up the spraying. That meant little critters got into the fruit - each has at least one dimple where a larvae drilled it's way to the core. You just eat around the core and they're fine....and I avoid the path the larvae took to get there.
In previous years, I felt the Chojuro tasted AMAZING, but this year they just don't seem as tasty sweet to me. The Hardy Giant, which really aren't all that giant - even after I did two thinnings through the summer, I probably left too many on the tree - are super fresh tasting and juicy crisp. Not overwhelmingly sweet like the Chojuro have been in the past....just a nice Asian pear. MMMM!