Every year, my tomato crop is the envy of my peers. Not only do I harvest them seemingly non-stop, the fruits are large, bright and perfect in every way. Each year, I start my tomatoes in the greenhouse. Once they are moved out to the garden, I follow these steps (Note: tomatillos are featured in this photo. I use the same process with them): 1) Make sure soil is prepared. 2) Plant the tomatoes into the soil. 3) For indeterminate tomatoes, place a sturdy pole or stake near the tomatoes. For determinate, I usually use a standard tomato wire cage.

These tomatoes are waist-high and thriving in their pots. Each year, I keep some inside the greenhouse when I run out of room in the main garden. It's like a mini-jungle in there when these plants mature and bear large ripe fruit. :)

These are from the elephant garlic. The edible harvest has begun as we've been harvesting oregano, asparagus, chives, garlic scapes and more. Love this time of year!

Our garlic harvest is a bit early this year, and I jumped the gun a bit, even at that. Here are two varieties - I am going to let the others sit in the ground another week. It's been a very dry and warm early season on the Pacific Northwest, so all garlic lovers should be loving this!

We are already eating cherry tomatoes, but this is the first red tomato of the season in the main garden. This is a Legend tomato, and there are plenty of others starting to turn, too! This very, unusually hot summer is great for our tomatos, tomatillos and corn!

Our corn in the Crop Circle garden is coming on strong now, and the first rows are ready for harvest! This is the Territorial Seed Luscious Hybrid corn. Territorial describes it as a "bi-color variety with very large, cylindrical 8.5-inch ears, with rich tasting, very tender kernels and waist-high ears, set on 6.5-foot tall plants." I would agree that this description nailed it! A side note - I planted this same variety last year and it failed. In hindsight, that was due to weather factors (the first two plantings rotted in the ground) and other factors.

Ah yes, it's one of those fun "title this photo" kind of days! Here is yet another oddly-shaped item from the garden to add to my collection. I'm not sure what to make of this one ... it looks almost fetal. But it looks like a boxing glove. It looks like other things I probably shouldn't mention... This is a "Mortgage Lifter" tomato and as you can see, it's a mightly hefty fruit!

This is one of the questions I get asked the most: How do you keep the water in your chicken coop from freezing in winter? Well, we figured it out several years ago and as my mother was the latest to ask the question, I'll repost it here. First, this assumes that you have a standard gravity-fed watering station. Ours is the three-gallon standard plastic one, that feeds into a bottom red tray. The solution turned out to be simple and affordable, and it's worked year after year in weather down to the low teens.

LOVE LOVE LOVE this time of year! The cherries are ripe and we are now in a race with all the birds to see who gets the most. These are Stella cherries, and I'm picking them just as fast as I can. We also have Bing, Rainier and other varieties ready for harvest, so I have my work cut out for me .... :)

My wife and I were talking just last night about how poorly we are both dealing with winter. We are seriously sun- and warmth-deprived. While working in the greenhouse this afternoon, I noticed that my rhubarb are poking up out of the ground. That’s a promise of spring, right there. But it’s still a long ways off …

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