First things first because I’ve had well over a dozen emails or phone calls on the subject. Team TKO raised just over $3,000 this year in the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Tour de Cure event that was held on May 19. Thank you, readers, for coming through for us yet again.
In other news, the big vegetable garden that my brother Andy and I have going is coming right along. Without going into specifics, we have over 50 varieties under cultivation and will add another 10 or so if the Good Lord’s willing and we stay able.
Unfortunately, we already have 13 varieties of tomatoes among the 37 ’mater plants already out there and we’ll add one more just to stay away from the number 13. The reason for this has to do with my addiction/obsession
with greenhouses. I’m making a vow to raise every plant that goes into the garden come 2019 will be started from seed by me. Not only that, but 90 percent or more of the seeds will be saved from stuff I’m growing this year. I’m currently trying to find a 12-step program called greenhouse addicts anonymous.
Of all the small greenhouses I visited this year, not a single one had Big Bertha bell peppers. I wound up buying two Big Bertha plants at Wally World for $3.10 EACH! I’m used to paying two bucks for a six pack. The only reason I bought them is to, hopefully, grow one pepper to maturity and save seeds from it. Pepper is arguably the easiest of all vegetable seeds to save and store. Unfortunately, most pepper varieties are hybrid these days, which means the seeds are practically useless. Big Bertha is an open pollinated variety and, in my opinion, the best home garden pepper I’ve ever grown.
A friend in England sent me seeds of a cucumber called “telegraph” that is wildly popular throughout Great Britain. Telegraph is an open pollinated variety that we loved when I grew them a few years back. I forgot to save seeds and discovered that the very few seed companies that carry them have them priced like gold nuggets. I emailed my friend, Eloise Sumpter, who lives in The Cotswolds, and she promptly airmailed a couple dozen telegraph seeds. Every single one sprouted after I started them in four-ounce peat pots and they went into the garden on Memorial Day. As the Donald is fond of saying, “We’ll see.”