What IS Working

Tiny Tomatoes

It feels like I’ve been doing a lot of complaining lately, about time constraints and failed experiments…There are lots of really GOOD things happening in this year’s garden, too.

Tomatoes? We got ’em! The orange ones are the Sun Golds. I will never go another year without this variety – they’ve been pumping out fruit since late-July, and are showing no sign of slowing down. The red ones are a smaller paste-type that was also early and productive and, most important, tasty!


Big tomatoes? Got those too! Cour di Bue is the name, and they’re amazing. And big. Did I mention big?

cornichons to-be

No time for making big pickles, but a jar of French cornichons has almost no time-commitment. Just wait for a day when there are plenty of teeny, tiny cucumbers, and make a single jar!

No recipe yet – we’re still waiting for the Magic to happen so we can taste them. If they’re good, I’ll share.

The recipe, not the pickles. There’s only one little jar, after all!


And this year’s successful experiment – the watermelons! It’s a small, short-season melon, and I’ve just picked the first ripe one today…


47 thoughts on “What IS Working

  1. Beautiful! love the shape of that Cour de Bue—maybe we should do a seed exchange?!!
    And the watermelon!!!! We tried so hard to grow them last year with a head start in the greenhouse. They got the size of a bocce ball! I declared not wasting my time again!

    • Happy to trade you some seeds – assuming I don’t let them all get away from me, that is…Things like that have been known to happen even in less-busy years.
      I’m pretty pleased with the watermelon…it’s called Blacktail Mountain, and I got it from Territorial – like most everything else I grew this year. They weigh about 7 pounds at full-size, and have good flavor, but I don’t think it’s possible to duplicate the intensity of the Southern melons I grew up with. It just never gets hot enough to concentrate the sugar. I’ll grow it again.

  2. Amazing is the right word for those Cour de Bue tomatoes! I’ve seen Sun Gold in the seed catalogues but never grown them – they’re now on the list for next year.

    • Last summer I was buying sun golds at the farmers market, and my granddaughter was eating half of them before we ever got home. I knew it had to go on this years’ list…The melons were a surprise – I had no idea they’d do so well!

  3. So glad to see you with such a nice harvest, Marie. Your tomatoes look great and how’s that for a successful experiment? It doesn’t seem like Summer until I slice into a watermelon. I bet your two helpers can’t wait to have a slice. 🙂

    • Niko adores ‘ma-melon’ and Angel won’t touch it…
      Don’t ask me how he got that for watermelon. We’ve spent the whole summer going over it:
      “Niko, say ‘Water’.”
      “Say, ‘Melon.'”
      “Say ‘Watermelon'”
      At least we know what he’s talking about… 😉

  4. Those tomatoes look great: have to see whether ‘Sungold’ is also available in Australia ? Since I grow almost all of my herbs/vegetables in pots, I only get the small sized varieties. Have not tried growing watermelon: no way ‘financial’ compared to paying but a few cents in the supermarket – but would love to prove I can do it! So many delightful water [and other] melon recipes floating about also !!!!!

    • I think you can get the sungold seeds just about anywhere. I know they’re available in Europe, so I don’t know why you wouldn’t find them down in Oz, too…
      I’ve grown nearly everything in pots at one time or another, but never melons. I’ve seen it done, though…you should give it a try! 😀

  5. Your produce looks great. We are still eating tomatoes but certainly not the quantity we have had in the past and the plants, well the plants are looking terrible. We’ll try to harvest the rest of the tomatoes left on the plants and then clean up the garden. Tough gardening season. Hope Niko enjoys his ma-melon. 🙂

  6. Oh what is the name of your small short season watermelon, i would like to try it .. though that bad bug might get it. If next year you are thinking of making sauce Amish Paste is my new discovery, bigger, denser and peels like dream! I shall put SunGolds on my list for next year too, they sound good. have a lovely day… c

    • It’s Blacktail Mountain, and I got it from Territorial. Not an heirloom, but a well-bred hybrid. They offer it in Organic, too. In a normal summer, it’ll probably do well for you, since they like the heat…You’ll love the sun golds – I’ll use them for the tomato jam soon – I hope 🙂

  7. Loving the success stories Marie! And loving the cornichon – I’ve just made my 20th jar this evening 🙂 it’s been a good year!
    I tend to warm some white wine or cider vinegar up (sometimes with tarragon added), pop the cornichon into a clean jar (sterilised etc) add some black peppercorns, mustard seeds or dill seeds, add the cornichon, slice the larger ones, pour the warmed vinegar over them, put the lid on and water bath for 10 mins. Oh and you can salt them before if you want but I don’t tend to bother and I also add a grape leaf to the mix – apparently good for keeping the crunch and colour. – here’s a link http://promenadeplantings.com/2012/08/25/i-dillied-and-dallied-dallied-and-dillied-pickles/

    • How do yours compare to the flavor of the ones in a Paris bistro? That’s the taste Hubby is looking for…I found myself carefully studying the spices in a Maille jar at the grocery store last week, thinking about changing the next jar 😀
      The recipe I used is truly au cru – salt them, rinse them, add the spices to the jar, then pour-over wine vinegar, cap and store. Taste them in a month. First time I’ve made them this way, so we’ll see in another week…
      I just read that you can use black currant leaves, too…I’ll remember that for next year!

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