Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Garden Try-Its

“Don't fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.”

I guess I had a enough unsure moments earlier in my life that I now keep my "trying new things" nicely contained to the garden. Having been a Brownie leader I like to think of these as try-its. Try its are brownie patches they earn for trying something new.
So each year I try some new tomato, bean or squash. As most places around here only carry a limited variety I have to start mine from seed. My mother likes the tried and true varieties, which is why we have two gardens. The main garden is all her old stand-bys- Blue Lake beans, Big boy tomatoes, Early Girl tomatoes, katahdin potatoes etc.- while the greenhouse garden is for things that she doesn't want to give up space for. As we can or freeze most of the garden for winter use I can understand her reluctance to possibly do without spaghetti sauce because I grew a tomato variety unfavorable to our area. "The proof is in the pudding" with her. So I try the new things and sometimes she agrees it is worth continuing to grow and we make room for it in the main garden such as Amish Paste tomatoes or LI Cheese squash....other things we don't grow anymore or they become old stand-bys in my garden...Reisentraube or Blondkopfchen tomatoes.

This year I tried Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry's and Garden Huckleberry. The first planting of the ground cherry did not germinate. The second planting didn't fair much better but I did get a couple. The huckleberries thrived. We make the same jams and jellies every year. I have to pay for blueberries so I was thinking the huckleberry would be a quick growing substitute and the ground cherry would be a whole new experience.
The huckleberry plants now stand 4 foot tall, the buds reminded me of comfrey, the flowers are small but the fruits look like they are going to be much bigger than a blueberry or huckleberry. I can not wait to try these.
The ground cherry plants that I nursed along look stunted. As I only managed to get 6 plants to survive I don't foresee a huge crop but they are flowering and have tiny little husks already.Hopefully I will get enough to make jam or a pie to see if it is worth growing again.
But until I can try these fruits of my labors, I have to make due with the old stand by, readily available I am off to pick black raspberries with all the thorns.

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