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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Egg Brain-Teaser, Beans, and Tomatoes

Well, our 4 ducks are finally easing into egg-laying, one has been laying 4 days and another one day.
Here is my egg brain-teaser of the day.  Below is the product of 3 eggs.  Explain.  One egg is different from the other eggs.  Which are chicken eggs and which are duck eggs (I also have 2 laying chickens).
This is my first tomato from Rostova at 7.5 oz (but not of the year, that was Tricot Czech), a fantastic heart-shaped tomato I'm trying for the first time this year. I started it 2-7-11 in a ziplock bag and put the sprouts in peat moss, perlite, and compost, then transplanted 4-20-11 under tunnels.   198 days from seed, 126 days from transplant- so much for the 85 DTM advertised.  And Shilling's Giant Heart which I'm also growing is supposed to take 80 DTM and is not coloring up yet.  That's what PNW cold springs, and cold summer nights, can do to tomato growth and ripening.  But at least the process is beginning and will continue until frost or blight, whichever comes first.  I'm enjoying my decision to grow mostly determinate tomatoes this year since the work staking and tying up vines has been much less.
If you have only grown regular slicing tomatoes, you would be surprised to cut open a heart tomato, there are practically no seed cavities or gel, just succulent flesh.  
In the pan is also one San Remo paste tomato, and some Pisarecka Glutoluske beans, an heirloom from Abundant Life Seed Foundation before the fire.  It is rather cold tolerant and I have planted it out as early as April 15 but this year on  so days to start getting ripe.  It tied Speedy from Park Seed for first beans along with Insuk's Wang Kong runner beans, which like cool weather and beat the other pole beans by a long shot.  Drying in pans behind them are teas- Prunella vulgaris spikes on the left, Self-Heal, and on the right some tips from my Tea plant, Camellia sinensis.

Next beans are some Capitano from Park seeds, only a couple of days behind.  There seem to be some green ones in addition to the yellow ones that are correct, a bush version of Marvel of Venice.  Or they are some Marconi nano from Gourmet Seeds of Italy, but not making runners like the other ones planted in the middle strip.  Above this pan is also some tea I'm trying for the first time, from my Schisandra vine, which is supposed to be grown for fruit, but it turned out my male died so no pollinator so no fruit.  I'm considering buying a male or Eastern Prince which is self-fertile and may also be a pollinator.  But it is a beautiful vine anyway, and the first taste of the tea is pleasant enough.

And the last pan features the IWK runner beans, which are far and away the best yielders.  Runner beans are a different species and do better in cool temperatures like in the PNW and in Great Britain, where many varieties have been developed.  They can be a little tough if left too long, I hope these were picked soon enough.
Here's hoping your tomatoes are ripening for you,



  1. Your veggies look wonderful Hannah! We get our eggs from a local farmer who raises his chickens on pasture - no store-bought egg can compare in flavor, color, thickness of the shells, or excellent diet and care of the hens as those raised at home or by local farmers who do things the good, old-fashioned, natural way.

    I'm guessing the duck eggs are on the left, since the yolks are bigger, and the eggs look bigger too.

    I'm sure I'll never talk my husband into backyard chickens, but my oldest daughter has 5 young hens she got this spring. They are so fun to watch, and my granddaughter loves them. I'm glad she will get to grow up with backyard chickens and enjoy their delicious, healthful eggs.

  2. Well, garden girl, now that it's been a week, I will reveal the answer to my brain teaser. You were correct, the two eggs on the left were duck eggs, but so was the upper one on the right! If you look at the whiteness of the whites, you can see the chicken egg has a yellowish tinge but the duck eggs are pristine white. This is easier to see in the raw eggs. How 3 eggs became 4- one of the duck eggs had a double yolk. This happens frequently when the ducks are just beginning to lay. Now 3 of the 4 ducks are laying. The eggs are gradually increasing in size. The other difference in the duck eggs versus the chicken eggs is that they are just more. More succulent, more tasty, better texture..... more yummy. YMMV. Heavenly eggs.

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