Caring for baby greens and summer cooking

Organic Tomatoes

Keep an eye out for pests and disease

The summer heat is still upon us. Consistent watering in the garden is very important to keep your tomatoes from cracking. After a big rainfall, we want to keep the soil moist and not let it dry out. Check your soil by sticking your finger just below the surface.

Tomatoes are ripe when their colours changes, they soften a bit to your touch and come easily off the vine. Give them a taste and see how you prefer them.  You can let them ripen on the window sill as long as they do not have nicks or bruises.

Remember that if you have not already harvested your garlic and onions, they are now ready to come out. Remember to continue to harvest daily and use your pantry of fresh herbs and flowers to add some zing to your summer salads or meals.

This summer heat calls for fresh light recipes that keep our ovens off and us outside savouring summer treats. Slice up together a fresh buffalo mozzarella salad with your heirloom tomatoes, top if off with fresh chopped basil, splashed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar add some salt and pepper and enjoy. Grill eggplant with the same combinations on the barbecue. Use leftovers to make a delicious baba ganoush, great for dipping cucumbers and carrots or as an appetizer at your next dinner party. Use your dill, parsley or mint to create a antioxidant packed refreshing beet salad. Put together a kale or swiss chard summer salad. The key is to tenderizing the kale and swiss chard is to give it a massage!  Not only will it be tender and delicious but by massaging the dressing into the salad you break down the cell wall to release all those rich nutrients. With Ontario’s peaches hitting the store soon try this delicious kale and peach recipe.

This hot summer weather and humidity means that while you enjoy your summer salads, you must be vigilant of potential pests and disease in the garden.Tomato diseases are rampant and powdery mildew may still make an appearance in the garden. Remove affected leaves from both tomatoes and cucumbers or squash. To control powdery mildew spray with a solution of baking soda (per gallon of water 1 tablespoon of baking soda with some oil and dish soap) twice a week. Watch my video on caring for your tomatoes for more tips.

Some of you may already have leafy greens in the garden and others will be receiving them in the following weeks. Seedlings are also for sale in our garden centre. Your young seedlings are susceptible to slug attacks. Put out beer traps or prevent them from getting close by placing a ring of diatomaceous earth around the seedlings. Also, go out in the early morning or evening and remove them manually from the garden. These seedlings are now in your care, and with your love they will flourish and provide with tasty greens for your salads.

We hope that you are all enjoying the summer. Keep cool by making a batch of these delicious herbal popsicles, or create your own flavours with your herbs. A delicious and cooling snack with a nutritious boost.