Sunday, June 6, 2010

Peas, strawberries, and RASPBERRIES!

Sugar peas and pod peas are actually on their way out, after that hot, hot sunny weather we had in Philly the last few weeks (it's finally cooling off tonight, but it's too late for my peas, I'd guess).  But I was really pleased this year with my pea success.  The kids would pick sugar peas on the way to or from the car (since they're growing along the fence in the front) and we'd eat them raw in the car or for a lunch addition.  But the last two weeks my kids have really been excited by the pod peas.  Those we grew on the back fence behind the house, and if my mom hadn't stood up for them I was actually in favor of ripping them out for more tomato space.  I'm so glad I gave them a chance, my kids were ecstatic to pop them open and pull the peas out (partly because they were so sweet, I'm sure). 

Strawberries have been averaging about a quart a week from our plants (which translates to about $7 worth in Philly).  And now the really exciting development is the raspberries ripening.  I thought they'd be a July crop for some reason, but here we go!  I put 2 or 3 in everyone's granola yesterday, but today I decided to save them.  When we get a pint (or at least half of one) I promised the kids what I consider to be the ultimate dessert: black raspberries on vanilla ice cream.  It's the only way to eat them, as far as I'm concerned (though I've never complained about eating the jelly or pie made from them either). 

I don't know if I can properly express my excitement and thankfulness to be able to produce real crops that actually affect our family's diet a little (especially some of these more expensive items: pod peas and strawberries were selling for $7 a quart at the farmer's market this weekend, black raspberries will likely sell for $5 a pint if they have them at all, and after our major construction needed in our basement due to water and termite damage, we need to cut corners where we can).  I think our strawberry crop would have been substantially higher had I not inadvertantly planted their enemy crop, arugula, around about a third of my plants.  I searched online after both plants were so stunted and yellow that I suspected I had found enemy crops.  Next year I will not make that mistake. 

Tomatoes are forming on my plants, so they should start coming a little bit before Baby Davis #3 arrives.  That will save us a fortune.  Ever since I read about BPA in cans of tomatoes I've felt like I should buy fresh, and anyone who reads my blog will know I feel like I have to get local ones, so I've been buying these early expensive ones to tide us over until mine are ready.  Why do I feel like tomatoes are essential for about half of what I make?  And how much better are sandwiches with a good old slice of ripe red tomato?  Oh boy, am I ever ready for ours to ripen!

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