Basil, Peppers, Onions, Sage, Carrots, Sunflowers...What's Missing Here?

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I'll tell you what's missing--tomatoes.

We have, something like, 40 tomato plants in our backyard right now.  Many of them have tomatoes on them, but they're not ripening as fast as I'd like.  One started to turn red last week, so I watched it closely for the perfect time to pick it.  But the chicks were watching it closely too.  In an unguarded moment, someone (I believe the culprit to be Tori, although I cannot convict her beyond a reasonable doubt) picked one little peck out of the back of it, leading the whole tomato to begin to rot.  

But goodness do we have peppers!  One little wax pepper plant is going so crazy that I've started trying to make pepperoncinis on the kitchen counter tops.  And our little basil plants have been prolific as well--several jars of pesto have made it into the freezer for next winter's consumption.

IMG_2270Additionally, it seems I have created my own breed of Sunflower.  Our last summer at the old house (two years ago) we had three kinds of Sunflower growing all at once.  I saved seeds from all of them, and planted some this year.  From the size of the head, I don't think this one has any "Russian Mammoth" in it, but I believe the stripy colors are the result of some interbreeding between my little volunteers and my "Cinnamon" variety.

IMG_2214 Last, but not least, we got some carrots this year.  Please don't laugh--for I know that they are puny and mishappen--but this may be our best carrot harvest ever.  And, small as they are, they made delightful carrot pickles.  (I used Marisa's small batch pickling brine rather than processing them.)