Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I'm not sure what I did this year to the garden. I think it may have been dumping chicken manure on it all winter long. Or maybe the stars just lined up this year for produce at my particular parallel. People, I have a scary amount of produce. I planted a ton of squash and zucchini. Because I usually am besieged by squash bugs and am lucky to harvest two or three before the plants are chewed to oblivion or wilt. This year I planted all the squash seeds I had. Two different yellow squash and two different zucchini. Something like 20 plants. Not a squash bug in sight. I have full size bell peppers already. I planted a ton of tomatoes. The scariest of all are the San Marzanos. Tough tomatoes to grow many people said. No disease resistance. So I planted five. Each of these plants must have 50 green tomatoes on it. And they will all ripen at once. I eye them with fear in my heart as I pass them by. One day soon, with little warning, they will be ready and I will be rushing to can them on some hot sticky day in August.

For now, I enjoy the Sungolds and the Juliets, which do not overwhelm, but deal out a steady trickle of sun ripened fruit. They figure into my 3rd OLS meal which was brunch on Sunday. Eggs are mine, tomatoes are mine, strawberry jam is mine (made with strawberries from Masonic Homes). Butter is from Shady Acres, bacon was from Hummer's Meats in Mount Joy (made from Lancaster County pigs) and toast was made from Martin's Potato Bread, made in Chambersburg, PA.

An interesting note. I was going to make a mushroom omelet, since we live approx. 60 miles or so from Kennet Square, Pennsylvania, otherwise known as the mushroom capital of the world, growers of 50% of the mushrooms consumed in this country. There are mushroom houses everywhere and many, many different growers. So I got my can of mushrooms out. The one called Pennsylvania Dutchman, with the little outline of the United States on it. And just as I was about to open the can, I saw the most peculiar thing on the back of the label. Product of China.

So then I grabbed the Giorgio Mushrooms. I have done work for the Giorgio company at a previous job. I have delivered wetland reports to their offices and have been given boxes of pure white button mushrooms as a thank you. I know that they grow tons of mushrooms in Chester County. I've seen them. Same thing on that can. Product of China. Very, very strange.


Blogger Kitt said...

You heard that China just executed its former food and drug chief?

Granted, his crimes had more to do with tainted pharmaceuticals, but it does make you think twice about the huge amount of foodstuffs they export, even if the odds are slim that you will get sick from a can of mushrooms.

I lived in China for three years and never got sick from the food, but all the recent news about tainted products makes even me nervous.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Faith said...

Mushrooms from China? I'm sorry, that's just wrong. It's a good thing you spotted that on the label before you added them to your eggs. Your story was a good reminder to carefully look at the labels before assuming that the foods are local (or even national).

Mmmmm.... bacon and eggs. You beat me to it, because my husband and I were just talking about trying bacon and eggs for our next local meal. Any thoughts on where I could buy some good local whole grain bread for toast? I'd make my own with the Daisy Flour from Annville, but it's not whole grain.

11:49 AM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

I don't know where a good source of whole grain bread would be. Etown doesn't even have a bakery, nor does Mount Joy I think. So unless I have the time to pick it up at the farmers market or make it myself, it is grocery store bread for me, although usually a local company.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Our one San Marzano plant never grew and died fast - if we lived closer I'd ask for one of those 50 San Marzanos to see if they were worth trying again.

I was surprised at how many bags of frozen vegetables come from China, Meresy, but Snow Peas from China seem less weird than Pennsylvania Dutchman mushrooms.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

2:40 PM  
Blogger Faith said...

I did a little digging and I found that Dosie Dough in Lititz has their own make bread. I have to check and see what they mean by their own make.... is it frozen dough that gets shipped in and baked, like the grocery stores, or do they actually make the entire thing with local ingredients? That's on my to-do list for this Friday afternoon (hurray for half days!). Also, there's a bread bakery down on McGovern Avenue in Lancaster city, right across the street from the train station. It's not as close as Lititz but it's in the same shopping center as the comic book store, so next time I'm there we'll check it out. I'll let you know what I find.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

The mushroom thing is seriously messed up, but your brunch looks amazing.

I always think that Etown should be called Liztown. Why would I think that? ;)

4:51 PM  
Blogger Mikaela said...

Love the description of your garden - especially the fear you sense anticipating those tomatoes :)

Nice OLS meal, and yes, v. strange about those 'shrooms...?

9:44 PM  
Blogger kris said...

Brunch looks very yummy! When all your bumper crops start coming in, I, for one, am gonna wish I lived close to you - lol! I didn't realize PA produced so many mushrooms - and certainly wouldn't have guessed any came here from China. The things you learn in blogland.

11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I know what you mean about those squash bugs. I'm usually dealing with hordes come this time of the year. So far, I haven't seen a single one. (or any cucumber beetles either). They're up to something!!

7:44 AM  
Blogger El said...

I guess this drought is a good thing, bug-wise, as I haven't seen any squash bugs either...or potato beetles or really any japanese beetles. Or bees. The good with the bad.

But I wouldn't be complaining much about a big harvest!

Spooky about the Chinese mushrooms. (And I am still way jealous about your buttah!)

10:12 AM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

I'm not complaining! I'm excited that things went well this year, but feeling a little overwhelmed. Remember, my husband touches no fruit or vegetable. So I run out of ways to get rid of them. I wish you all lived near me. You would get bags of stuff delivered on your doorstep come the end of July.

El, you don't have any Japanese Beetles? Lucky. We were absolutely besieged by them last week. Scary numbers. And then they all just disappeared. Still no squash bugs though. I'm with farm mom. They are up to something.

And it should be called Liztown. Much better than Etown.

10:51 AM  
Blogger El said...

I did a reconaissance over lunch of the perennial beds and saw a couple Japanese beetles on the bee balm. Tom thinks it's his double hit of milky spore (applied to the vineyard ground last fall) and the colloidal clay he sprayed on the grapes, apples and my roses that is doing the trick with these pretty but destructive beetles. The clay is rather interesting: it makes the leaves a sage-y white, and nobody then wants to eat them. I had never heard of the stuff, but obviously the beetles have! (The beetles are really taking a toll on the blueberry farmers this year.)

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it wonderful when the garden just "clicks into overdrive"?

And bacon & eggs... PERFECT.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Faith said...

I live near you, and SOLD.


2:01 PM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

El, okay, filing milky spore and colloidal clay away for future reference. Thanks. They were totally scary this year and I think there may even be an apple tree that isn't going to spring back.

Faith, will let you know when I've got to unload some produce. I may even be able to get the tomato stand up soon!

3:05 PM  
Blogger Faith said...

Sounds great, you can email me at wurwolf@hotmail.com whenever you're ready!

(And now I really will stop spamming this post. Sheesh.)

3:58 PM  
Blogger cyndy said...

Sounds like you are getting a good harvest! And my answer to all those tomatoes? One word = Squeezo!!

4:13 PM  
Blogger Leslie said...


So sorry for missing your post. My bad. And it is a great write up too! I will be on top of it from now on.

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous pay per head said...

Your blog is quite helpful to me and i am sure to others too. I appreciate your post, it is usually nice and contains useful information .

12:53 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home