Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rainy Day Musings

It's raining here today, so no lawn mowing on my day off and probably some split tomatoes in my little patch out back. On the commercial scene, Ohio sweet corn is in (and has been for several weeks) and it is delish. Those of you who've followed this blog at all (very few, judging from my follower's list) may remember my surprise at how early southern peaches showed up this year (not long after the California, which is unusual). I'm sad to say the quality of the South Carolina and Georgia peaches doesn't seem to be up to the usual standards. They look great and, after some early concerns about shelf life, seem to be holding up well, but people, the flavor just isn't there! If you have California, or even better locally grown, peaches available, try those compared to the southern. The Cals are, I think, much more flavorful this year, if more expensive (shipping costs and all).

Ohio tomatoes are in, too, with mixed quality, some just good, some really good, some flat amazing. My personal tomatoes are doing just fine, although the weather has conspired to create too many splits and some flower-end yuck. Needs to get hot and dry and stay that way and this summer that just may not happen. But I'm getting good yellow toms (Lemon Boy), Green Zebras, Sweet 100s and Romas, if fewer than I expected, so I can't complain. The best Ohio tomatoes we've been able to get at the moment appear to be coming from Amish farmers in the Ashland County area, a bit north of here. Demand appears to be high and wholesale prices are strong (meaning high), good for the farmers but not so good if you need to buy and re-sell and make a profit too, especially considering the economic situation around here.

Indiana melons (a type of muskmelon/canteloupe for those of you outside the Midwest) are going strong, beautiful and tasty. Remember the keys to picking the best -- slipped off the vine (no vine left), good beige (no green) under dense webbing, a little soft on the ends, strong canteloupe fragrance from the stem -- and you can't go wrong.