I posted photos last week of the first signs of fruit forming, but as of last night, I noticed that now the eggplant resembles what it will be when ready to harvest. This heatwave we are having is going to be good for these vegetables! Did you know that when it is 90° outside, the top few inches of soil could reach 120? I learned this last night at the free workshop offered by PHS at the pop-up garden in Passyunk Square.
Two eggplants are slowly forming as the purple flowers turn into vegetables growing within the sepals and stems. I fertilized the raised bed on Wednesday in order to encourage them to grow before it gets too cold, as eggplants love warm and sunny conditions. I’m guessing it will take another two weeks for these to ripen. Between the first several photos (from two days ago) and the last one (taken this morning), it’s clear they’re growing steadily!
Cooking when I’ve grown half of the ingredients that a recipe calls for is very rewarding! I came across this recipe for Ikarian stew, a simple vegetarian soup that supposedly originated on the Greek island of Ikaria. While I’m not following the Mediterranean diet, this will make for good lunches all week. From the garden: tomatoes, dill, kale, and chard (the greens I added to the recipe), and other ingredients from the store were olive oil, fennel bulb, garlic, red onion, black eyed peas, bay leaves, and tomato paste.
What a haul this morning! Two pink Brandywines, four Japanese trifeles, and so many little black cherry tomatoes. I also cleared out the squash vines from the center bed and the cucumbers from the raised bed, took down the hoops and fabric? And cleaned up the whole yard. A couple eggplant flowers have bloomed as well!
The last berries of this year’s harvest were in my bowl with oatmeal this morning. The end of the season means it will soon be time to prune the blackberry bush. I found a great article about when and how to do so here.
Several tomato hornworms with raconid wasp larvae were on my cherry tomato plant. While watering this morning, I saw the first one and tried to spray it off, thinking that the bright white I saw out of the corner of my eye was bird poop. I looked closer and saw that it was a green caterpillar covered with lots of tiny larvae, each smaller than a grain of rice. I scanned the other leaves and sure enough, there were a few more. I Googled “caterpillar on tomato plant with white on top” and the first search result told me what they were. It said to get rid of the hornworms by putting them in a bucket of water — organic pest control! It went on to say that once they’re covered with larvae, you can leave them because they feed the wasps which then get rid of more hornworms, but I didn’t like the idea of wasps flying around the garden!