Monthly Archives: July 2012

Family of 4 Harvest Report

  In case you didn’t guess this already, we have a whole bunch of cucumbers and zucchini from the Family of 4 Garden this week. We also had some zucchini that were there yesterday that were mysteriously missing this morning when we harvested. I’ll make an estimate as to what the yield is for those.

8.25 lbs of cucumbers @ $1.00/lb = $8.25

5.5 lbs of zucchini@ $1.50/lb = $8.25

1/4 lb of peppers @ $2.50/lb = $0.63

Weekly Total = $17.13

Year to Date = $93.14


Tomato Day this Saturday, July 28th!

Tomato Day  – July 28th from 7 am—12 pm

Do you love everything tomato? Have you struggled to grow great tomatoes? The 23rd Annual Tomato Day is for you! The event will be held at the Sedgwick County Extension Education Center at 21st and Ridge in Wichita on Saturday, July 28th from 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. This event features information on selecting, planting, maintaining, cooking with tomatoes.  Admission is free.

Enter a Tomato Day Contest!

Gardeners, bring your home grown tomatoes and enter them in a contest to win a gift certificate to the Kansas Grown! Farmers Market.

Contest Categories:

  • Largest (by weight, single tomato)
  • Ugliest (single tomato, please no rotten tomatoes)
  • Best Heirloom Specimen (single tomato)
  • Standard Tomatoes (Plate of 3)
  • Roma or Plum Tomatoes (Plate of 3)
  • Cherry or Pear Tomatoes (Plate of 6)
  • Cluster of Grape Tomatoes (Still on the cluster)
  • Fresh Salsa (please bring recipe)
  • Preserved Salsa (must meet USDA standards, please include recipe)

For more information on contests, please visit

Stuff the Truck for Plant a Row for the Hungry

Help us fill a truck with fresh produce for the Kansas Food Bank. Donate at least 1 lb. of fresh produce at the Plant a Row for the Hungry tent outside 4-H Hall during Tomato Day and you will be entered into a door prize drawing. You can donate produce from your garden or that you purchase, but we do ask that it be fresh produce.

Gardening and Cooking Seminars at Tomato Day

Seminars in Demonstration Garden:

8:00   Composting Demonstration

8:30   Demonstration Garden Tour

9:15   Shade Tree Tour in the Arboretum (meet in the Meadowlark Room)

9:15   Grilling Pizza: Beyond Cheese & Pepperoni

10:30   Raised Bed Gardening

11:00   Beyond Tomatoes – Gardening in the Fall

11:30   Savor the Season, Eating Seasonally in Kansas – Natalie Fullerton, Our Local Food Program

Seminars in the Sunflower Room:

8:30  Cooking with Tomatoes – Damian Lehman, executive chef of Wichita Country Club

10:30   Canning Q & A

11:00  Preserving Tomatoes Beyond Canning

Family of 4 Garden Harvest

This week was a little slower in the Family of 4 Garden (maybe we did a better job of cleaning the cucumbers off last week…or maybe we missed a few more this week!).

6 lbs of Cucumbers @ $1.00/lb = $6.00

4 lbs of Zucchini @ $1.50/lb = $6.00

Weekly Total = $12.00

Year to Date = $76.01


Community Garden Bounty

You may remember when I posted pictures of the hailstorm triage from my community garden plot back at the end of May. I think I can safely say that our garden plot has successfully recovered…maybe a little too well!

Just for reference, our plot is 10 x 20 (200 sq. ft), so twice the size of what our “Family of 4” garden was up until this year. However, it isn’t a raised bed, so we do lose some space to walking paths.

Yesterday alone, we harvested 3.6 lbs of peppers – white ‘Gypsy’, ‘Big Bertha’ bells, and green Anaheims. Yikes! It seems a bit ridiculous.

We planted mostly roma tomatoes this year, hoping to make some different tomato sauces. We are mostly harvesting them, letting them ripen fully on the counter, and then throwing them in the freezer until we are ready to do something with them. The last week to week and a half of tomatoes totals 9.5 lbs. We already have about the same amount in the freezer, and there are still plenty of green tomatoes out there.

You may recall that our poor cucumbers took the brunt of the hail damage. Well, they definitely recovered just fine! Yesterday we picked 15 lbs of cucumbers (granted, a few of them were quite large), in addition to the 6+ pounds we already had in the refrigerator.

Friends don’t let friends plant more than 2 or 3 cucumber plants…

I foresee lots of pickle-making in our future…

If you have lots of cucumbers as well and don’t want to make pickles, be sure to check out some of the cucumber recipes from 2010 and 2011 Lunch in the Garden at the tab above: There are recipes listed under both Cucumbers and Oriental Cucumbers. (If you have lots of cucumbers, you should definitely try out the Cucumber Noodles!) Enjoy!

Friday PhotoEssay

Ugh…it was a hot week, and it looks like next week is gearing up for more of the same (if not hotter)! At least we had a little bit of relief with some spotty rain yesterday afternoon. It sure didn’t help the humidity, but at least things cooled off a tiny bit.

We finally are getting some cucumbers on the ‘Salt & Pepper’ cucumber plants. Obviously, from the looks of those big yellow ones we found, we may have missed a few earlier. These are really nice looking white cucumbers, although the spines don’t show up quite as black to get that pretty contrast. I guess aesthetics are not the most important part of a cucumber if you want to be picky though!

The ‘Sunshine’ kabocha squash is still growing, but not yet ripe. As with other winter or hard squashes, the rind should be completely hard before picking. That means you shouldn’t be able to poke it with your thumbnail. I bet at this stage you could scratch a message into the skin and have it scar over. I remember that my kindergarden teacher carved our names into pumpkins she grew and the scratches scarred into brown letters. Something fun to try!

The black sesame is still flowering, but you can also see the seed pods developing. Since this is a plant that I haven’t grown before, it is fun to watch them develop. I’m still curious as to how big the seed pods will get and how productive they will be. The plants do wilt a bit in the heat, but otherwise nothing seems to phase them.

Our poor tomatoes are still struggling with the effects of the herbicide injury. The damage didn’t seem too bad initially, but most of the plants seem to be getting worse rather than growing out of it. The plants are mostly a healthy size, but they have almost no tomatoes set on them, and I’ll be surprised if we get much. Herbicide injury can have major effects on yield, and we probably should have tried replanting, but we were already 2+ weeks late getting them in the garden.

The two biggest ‘Lambkin’ melons are just starting to develop some raised ridges on the rinds. Even though I’ve seen ripe melons of this variety, I think it’s going to be hard to tell when these are ripe. The stems don’t “slip” like regular cantaloupes do, nor do they exhibit the same color changes as honeydew melons. Oh well…it will be an experiment!

In other news, we’ve been seeing quite a few spider mites on the cucumbers, although one of the plants has aphids instead! I haven’t observed much for spider mites on the tomatoes or on the other vine crops. It is probably just a matter of time, especially when it is so hot. If possible, I’ll try to get a post up about that next week. As we are getting ready for Tomato Day on July 28th, I may not post much next week!