The rain has subsided and now we are getting the full sunny Sonoma that not only warms the lands but our hearts and spirits. At Canappela, it means that we look ahead to our summer crops. In doing so, we consult our garden spreadsheet notes to remember what we want to replant and how to use our garden to support what we cook and can and give away to neighbors. This year, we added more onions to make sure we had enough for all that tomato sauce and roasted tomato soup. We also experimented with fava beans and peas in hopes that we’d have them in time for Passover and Easter meals (we didn’t). The favas are lovely plants but we can’t possible grow enough for what we need. The peas are coming in heartily and remind us of the Italian beans that we loved so much last summer and that we ended up sharing with anyone who would agree to taking them.
We visited our favorite veggie and fruit start purveyor (Forni Brown in Healdsburg) and got our favorite squash, melons (Ambrosia & Hearts of Gold) and of course tomatoes which also included what we picked up at Tomatomania. This year, we decided to get them in earlier than what we’ve done in the past which is to plant during first full moon in May. We are hoping for an earlier tomato arrival-- so we moved their location to full sun as last year they were in a more shaded spot.
With a fully planted raised bed garden, we are moving to complete the area around the pool and pool house. Now that any threat of rain has passed, we are expecting a concrete pour soon.
The main house now has been carefully stripped of the parts that will get a facelift and is surrounded by the new addition that will completely change the cottage as it has been. What we hope will emerge will be the “heart” of the compound where we will create wonderful dinners from our garden pickings, hold special confabs of friends to watch outside movies and enjoy homestead living at its very Sonoma best.
For now, we have to imagine what will be built on these footers and hope that we soon will have towering walls to match the grandeur of the fig and persimmon tree which have been the tallest part of the property…. until now.
*While most of the tomatoes are indeterminates, it’s important to know what that means and how determinates are different.
Determinate vs Indeterminate
Grow all at once
Better in pots as they are not so unwieldy
Need less staking, more compact
Called bush tomatoes
Most of fruit comes in a 2-week period and end when the top buds stop
Grows longer and bigger vines and need more staking
Fruit grows over the entire season
Suckers need to be pruned
Ripest fruit at the base and goes up the vine in the season
30 days before first frost, take tops of the Indeterminate plants and lop off so they push the
last fruit out before they quit.