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Summer Veggies

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It’s that time of the year where Gil and I do our veggie garden. Realistically, it’s Gil doing the veggie garden and me swooping in and sharing credit.  Anyways, truths aside, it’s been a strange year for sure.  Last year was a bountiful harvest of heirloom tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, beans, cucumbers, peppers….  This year, squash producing like a weed, but sadly, all else has been spotty at best.  What I thought would be good for the tomatoes (those heat spikes we’ve been feeling all Summer), have actually been detrimental.  I always thought tomatoes just love heat.  I guess I’m wrong.  Apparently, that hurt the actual fruit development.  The plants look like a million bucks, just very few tomatoes on them. Cucumbers, shishitos, eh…  Padrons; those have been great and plentiful.  Beans, not so good.  After 4 years of success with tomatoes, I just figured it was a given.  What it makes me realize, it’s still agriculture.  Nothing is for certain.  Only mother nature knows and dictates.

Humility in respecting nature is a good thing.  Whether it’s the shear power and destructive violence of a hurricane or earthquake, or reflecting on that absolute perfect, 70 degree afternoon, we adjust or prosper according to those forces.  When I pull a bottle of wine and get excited about a particular vintage or sigh about a year with challenges,  I really look back at what we were dealt with.   I’m happy to drink a vintage with less pedrigee and understand the efforts that went into it.  I treat each year like a different child; each with their own unique character and personality. I try and be less critical and more open minded, and appreciate the nuances rather than criticize. Yes, all this philosophy came from me swearing off the weak tomato crop this year.  I will no longer take it for granted!


Great squash!  Tough love tomatoes.


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About Our Authors

George Blanckensee

An expert event planner and an avid basketball and sports fan, George can tell you about all the best off-the-beaten path eateries.

Kali Clark

A Napa Valley native, Kali returned to the area after a stint on the East Coast and can be found documenting the latest happenings at the Chateau. When not behind the camera, she likes to experiment in the kitchen, travel, and enjoy the outdoors