Sunday, August 5, 2012

Season of Plenty

The blooming of the pink lilies signals the season of plenty in our backyard. As the blossoms gradually opened this week, we brought in several harvest baskets of lush produce:

Dona tomatoes
Better Boy tomatoes
Sungold cherry tomatoes
Padron peppers
Fairy Tale eggplant
Prosperosa eggplant
Ronde de Nice zucchini
Emperor's Jade zucchini
Genovese basil (the best for pesto)
Summertime lettuce
Michelle lettuce
A few stray leaves of volunteer arugula
Assorted leaves of volunteer yard chard
Purple plums (last few of their waning season)
Yellow plums (more than we can deal with)
Pears!!!!!!! (See below).

And that's not even the full roster. Still to come are:

Roman Stripe paste tomatoes
Indigo Blue tomatoes
Sweet Million cherry tomatoes
Pimento peppers
Lemon cucumbers
Blue Lake beans
Fortex beans
Volunteer mystery squash most likely descended from the Trombetta di Albenga of previous summers (judging by the size of the vines).

The lilies bloom in early August, announcing the all too short season of feasting on our summer specialties: Insanely Great Pasta Sauce and the inimitable Pear Tarte Tatin.

When the lilies bloom the pears are ready to drop. It's time to start watching the pear tree carefully because pears, counter-intuitively, should not be allowed to ripen on the tree. When the first one falls the whole harvest must be picked at once.

This year we got impatient and didn't wait for that first plopped pear before sending H. up on a ladder to gather in whatever he could reach -- everything but a few fat ones clinging to the topmost branches.

I think the blooming lilies are now so strongly associated in my mind with the season of plenty that, like Pavlov's dog, I start to salivate when I see them! Fill the harvest baskets; it's the time of fruiting and feasting!

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