Monday, July 11, 2011

Perfect Summer Weekend

You don't have to grow all your own food to take advantage of all the great produce in your area. This weekend I went up to Lake Michigan and stopped to pick some of their sweet cherries...amazing!

The farm we stopped at lets you pick all types of fruit: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, peaches. I could get in trouble in a place like that!

When we got home, we had a great dinner with all the produce from our own garden. It was a feast!

The cucumber salad had cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions from our garden. We also had our green beans (we spent the weekend canning!), potatoes, and yellow squash. The fruit salad and dessert included blueberries picked at a local farm.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Good News, Bad News

Let's start with the good news! Our blueberry plants are doing great and we've had our first few berries!!! Look how pretty

Now for the bad news :( A fungus called blight has infected our tomatoes again. There are two types of blight:

"Early Blight can affect the foliage, stems and fruit of tomatoes. Symptoms: Dark spots with concentric rings develop on older leaves first. The surrounding leaf area may turn yellow. Affected leaves may die prematurely, exposing the fruits to sun scald."

"Late blight affects both the leaves and fruit of tomatoes. Late Blight is the disease responsible for the Irish Potato Famine. Late Blight spreads rapidly. Cool, wet weather encourages the development of the fungus. If you suspect you have Late Blight, contact your Local Extension Service for definite ID. Symptoms: Greasy looking, irregularly shaped gray spots appear on leaves. A ring of white mold can develop around the spots, especially in wet weather. The spots eventually turn dry and papery. Blackened areas may appear on the stems. The fruit also develop large, irregularly shaped, greasy gray spots."

There isn't really a good way to get rid of blight once it's infected the plants. The best thing to do is remove the infected plant. Do not try to compost it! Make sure it is completely removed from the garden area. If the blight doesn't seem to be too bad yet, you can try removing the infected areas of the plant first. This fall we're going to need to treat the soil to try to completely remove the blight and prevent it from occurring again next year. Not sure how we do that yet...I'll keep you posted.