We got our first tomato harvest on Sunday. These are (not quite ripe) White Queens, Honey Bunch, and an Egg Yolk. Since then we've gotten a few Pearly Pinks and a Black Cherry, but I ate them before getting pictures.
I turned them into a little salad by cutting them up, lightly salting in a colander to get extra moisture out, then tossed them with oregano, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. This is one of my favorite ways to eat tomatoes. My other fave is with a few drops of truffle oil, basil, and fresh mozzarella. To me cucumber salad and tomato salad are the epitome of the taste of summer. Forget hamburgers, home grown tomatoes with a few simple ingredients are the best on a hot day.
I also had the bright idea of building a tomato pergola. We knew the plants would reach far above their 6' stakes, so we made a trellis for them to grow across before we cut off the growing tips in about a month. So far I am keeping all my tomatoes pruned to only two vines per plant and Kyle's have only one. We are mercilessly pruning and the plants are doing great despite our depleted raised bed's soil. I'll have another post on that topic. The snake is to scare off the squirrels and birds.
The water feature is doing great. The water has balanced in the big tank and is perfectly clear. The smaller one appears to be balancing out as well. I have packed 30 varieties of plants in this small area. There are a lot of underwater ones you can't see in the photograph, but the fish are very well protected and look like they are having fun. I moved the old pink water lily to the new tank and it is doing really well. The Canna lily is getting big and starting to bloom (right end of tank). The spiky one is a dwarf cattail. Despite the lady at the nursery's suggestion of simply throwing the plants out at the end of the season, I'm going to try to overwinter them in the garage. The water lilies do just fine in the bottom of the containers.
Canna lily bloom
We also are the local watering hole again this year. At some times it is a little unsettling to have 5-6 honey bees, and a couple different predatory wasps clamoring for water in such a small space, but for all they do for me, I'm willing to share the water. Luckily they leave Sadie alone, and I've taught her not to snap them up.
They really like the duckweed as landing pads.
The fish now eat from my hand. The photo doesn't reflect their size well. the orange one with white mouth on the left is the biggest at three solid inches. We call him pea shooter.
Oh yeah, I have to introduce Seymour, Kyle's latest acquisition.
Seymour is earning its keep by eating random pest bugs in its own time.
I hope Buddha doesn't mind being so close to the carnage.