Just a quick note about the garden: what was seemingly headed for a major disappointment has rebounded into a fairly lively and healthy looking garden. It all began with such promise, as well. For the record, mom's garden has kicked some serious butt from the get go, somehow she just has the magic touch. It is instructive to know that she diligently weeds, cleans, and waters her garden (unlike yours truly), so her hard work pays off. Everything in her garden looks beautiful.
In the spring I had this notion that I would grow tons of tomatoes and cucumbers for the market, and it started out well. I got probably close to 75-80 tomato plants going, and put cucumbers and zucchini (for relish) into the ground. I started the tomatoes in the greenhouse and let them go awhile thinking they would get really big and hearty, and when I put them into the ground, they would take off and crank out the fruit. This isn't how things worked out, and by the time June was in full swing, the tomatoes were looking a little sickly. They were so skinny, albeit tall. I planted them into the soil thinking they would get thicker and livelier, but that didn't happen. They just stayed skinny.
I then remembered what a farmer friend of mine, WM via GS, told me about tomatoes. When the stalks are tall, you can lay the stem into the ground and bend the top up so most of the plant is underground. The stem will sprout roots and help the tomatoes grow. It was worth a shot, but a lot of work. I lost a couple of plants from breakage, but with the help of the kids we modified all of the tomatoes, and sure enough, today they are thick and bushy. They look great, and today they have lots of fruit. It's pretty cool.
Our zucchini also produced a few monster squash, which I will use to make relish for the market, and it looks like there will a second round. Even the basil, which looked like it was going to take a dive, has come up. It's all good news, though it's a race against time against the blight. We'll see where this goes.
Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Kim Beckmann for the pic.