Two steps forward and one step back

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Always, with gardening, there is the good, the bad and the ugly.
But, let’s start with the good…
My friend, Vince, grew some remarkable tomatoes from seed this spring.  They grew so beautifully for him (in his awesome indoor “planting stadium”) that he offered some to his friends…and I gratefully took a few.  Unfortunately, a terrible frost and windstorm took his after he planted them.  I was so sad to see them destroyed after all that hard work.  Incredibly for me, I was too busy to plant them immediately so I missed all of the torrential weather.  These that you see above are his plants…almost waist high and sprouting MANY baby tomatoes.  I know he has replaced his but I will have to have him over for a nice caprese salad when they reach their peak!

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Another “good thing” that came out of the garden today were these beautiful long radishes (I believe they are called Long Scarlet Radishes). My dad and I grew them from seed and took a shot in the dark that they would be okay…and they are more than okay! The bunch we planted are about a foot tall in the greens and you can just start to see the tops of the radishes coming out of the ground. I pulled these two but I know they will get bigger (I was just so excited). The leaves are beautiful but I have never cooked them. Sites online say you can braise them like spinach but I found a great salad (raw radish greens with green salad , pine nuts, chicken and orange slices) that I am going to have to try.
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Zucchini flowers!!!!! I have some fresh ricotta in the fridge that is calling my name. If these grow enough in the next few days, I am going to have to stuff them and fry them up! Yum…..
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This is the bad…. Apparently, these are called grape flea beetles and they are really, really, really enjoying my grape vines. A good website that I found (http://eviticulture.org/articles/2011/03/22/small-14-tiny-brown-worms-are-eating-a-lacelike-pattern-out-of-the-leaves-of-my-grape-vine-what-could-this-be-and-how-can-i-get-rid-of-it/) says it is okay and shouldn’t damage my vines or leaves…I’m keeping my fingers crossed! I will look and see if there is a natural way to get rid of these (maybe vinegar?) but, in the meantime, enjoy the buffet little beetles….
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And the ugly…incredible what a bunch of little brown worms can do 🙂
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But back to the good…fresh radishes and the first celery, straight from the earth, going into a salad! I can already feel the goodness pumping through my veins!

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