Monday, September 27, 2010
9/27/10 Harvest - First Cantaloupe
Lupe the Cantaloupe has finally arrived in time for this week's Harvest Monday! In case you haven't read my previous cantaloupe posts, Lupe is the first melon from the first melon plant that I grew from a seed from a random supermarket cantaloupe. It's been exactly three months since I sowed this seed outside, and Lupe was finally ready to be harvested this weekend. She weighed in at just over 2 lbs, so she was fairly small for a cantaloupe, but Keith and I were nonetheless really excited about our first successful melon harvest.
Even though this melon smelled like a perfectly ripe melon on the outside (what a difference a week makes), I was still a bit anxious as I cut it in half. What if it doesn't look right? As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about because this was one ripe melon! It may have been even a day or two overripe, but it was still very sweet, juicy and overall delicious.
Since the weather has been cooling down and the night time lows are more consistently falling down to the 40s, I'm not holding out much hope that we'll be able to harvest many more Jelly Bean tomatoes. It's a little sad to see all those flower clusters and half-sized tomatoes that won't have time to grow to their full potential this year, but I keep reminding myself that these plants were started very late in the season (seeds were sown in early July) for experimental purposes, and any harvestable tomato is just a blessing.
I harvested all the ripe ones plus all the others that showed any hint of changing color. Hopefully these green ones will ripen indoors. There are still many more smaller green ones on the plants. I'll let them go another week and see if I can get any more ripe or semi-ripe ones next week.
I've noticed that these Jelly Bean tomatoes come in all different sizes (not sure if they are designed that way, or if the smaller fruits were just too stressed), with the smallest ones just a smidgen bigger than the size of real jelly beans. As I mentioned last week, these tomatoes seem to be a bit on the thick-skinned side, but they are still very sweet and delicious.
I also harvested a few more cayenne peppers from our outdoor pepper plants whose days are probably numbered at this point.
These cayenne peppers just don't show any signs of turning red, but I'm going to just let them be and see if they will ripen and turn red indoors like tomatoes. Otherwise, we can use them green, since these peppers pack plenty of heat as is.
Keith and I spent all weekend doing hard labor expanding our vegetable garden for next year. This is a pretty big project for us and will require several more sweaty weekends, but I'm really looking forward to having more and better garden space next year to grow more of our own food. Stay tuned for our drawings and designs for the new garden! I'll post them later this week or next, as soon as I figure out how to convert my design documents to a picture format.