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My (temporary) cure for the Camino Blues

LesR

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017, 2018; Camino Portuguese 2019
Yes - it has been 18 months since my last Camino, and another is well overdue..... (thanks COVID19)

I know that now is not the right time to start mixing with citizens from many parts of the world andfor passing through many small Spanish communities (with many people who will be especially vulnerable to the ravages of COVID19).

However I have managed to find myself a small diversion - home grown Pimientos de Padrón...

Been trickier to grow that I had hoped for, and hopefully this will not be my last harvest from my dozen plants...

Sigh....
 

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Yes - it has been 18 months since my last Camino, and another is well overdue..... (thanks COVID19)

I know that now is not the right time to start mixing with citizens from many parts of the world andfor passing through many small Spanish communities (with many people who will be especially vulnerable to the ravages of COVID19).

However I have managed to find myself a small diversion - home grown Pimientos de Padrón...

Been trickier to grow that I had hoped for, and hopefully this will not be my last harvest from my dozen plants...

Sigh....

Well done.

I am trying to grow some now.

About 10" high so far.
 

lindam

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
One of my favourite discoveries on my first Camino (while still living in Canada)! It was love at first bite. They are a regular feature in my Spanish kitchen when in season here.

Nice job you have done propogating these beauties.
 
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Arn

Veteran Member
I am impatient with many things and growing things I like to eat is painful in the waiting. That said, I do love to eat wild veggies (asparagus), dandelions, stinging nettles, ramps, berries, crab apples, etc. They all can be found in the surrounding acres of my farm. Also, the really cool part is they only appear a certain times a year. Thus, I don't over indulge just because of the taste, or availability.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I do love to eat wild veggies (asparagus), dandelions, stinging nettles, ramps, berries, crab apples, etc.
I have heard of eating dandelion leaves. I picked some large beauties last spring to "try". I ended up pitching them before cooking, afraid I'd be disappointed.
As for stinging nettles, I hate their sting. I assume they get neutralized in cooking, but glives definitely needed for picking.
Are either of these plentiful greens really worth the effort, Arn?
 

Dee Langton

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 2013 - 2017
Yes - it has been 18 months since my last Camino, and another is well overdue..... (thanks COVID19)

I know that now is not the right time to start mixing with citizens from many parts of the world andfor passing through many small Spanish communities (with many people who will be especially vulnerable to the ravages of COVID19).

However I have managed to find myself a small diversion - home grown Pimientos de Padrón...

Been trickier to grow that I had hoped for, and hopefully this will not be my last harvest from my dozen plants...

Sigh....
They look so good!
 

Arn

Veteran Member
I have heard of eating dandelion leaves. I picked some large beauties last spring to "try". I ended up pitching them before cooking, afraid I'd be disappointed.
As for stinging nettles, I hate their sting. I assume they get neutralized in cooking, but glives definitely needed for picking.
Are either of these plentiful greens really worth the effort, Arn?
Oh yes, Stinging nettle ointments are often used to ease osteoarthritis symptoms. The dried leaves and flowers can be steeped to make a delicious herbal tea, while its leaves, stem and roots can be cooked and added to soups, stews, smoothies and stir-frys. Dandelion is great in a salad (though bitter) and dandelion wine is something my father made on occasion. If you use part of the flower is curbs the natural sweetness of just the leaves.
 

witsendwv

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015)
Yes - it has been 18 months since my last Camino, and another is well overdue..... (thanks COVID19)

I know that now is not the right time to start mixing with citizens from many parts of the world andfor passing through many small Spanish communities (with many people who will be especially vulnerable to the ravages of COVID19).

However I have managed to find myself a small diversion - home grown Pimientos de Padrón...

Been trickier to grow that I had hoped for, and hopefully this will not be my last harvest from my dozen plants...

Sigh....
It won't be spring here for another month, but I have three seedlings and another seven seeds just starting to make their way out of the dirt. I hopefully will have peppers earlier than later. 😊 🌶️
 
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Leap of faith

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2012), Frances(2017), Frances (June 2018)
Yes - it has been 18 months since my last Camino, and another is well overdue..... (thanks COVID19)

I know that now is not the right time to start mixing with citizens from many parts of the world andfor passing through many small Spanish communities (with many people who will be especially vulnerable to the ravages of COVID19).

However I have managed to find myself a small diversion - home grown Pimientos de Padrón...

Been trickier to grow that I had hoped for, and hopefully this will not be my last harvest from my dozen plants...

Sigh....
Good suggestion! I certainly have the Camino blues!
 

LesR

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017, 2018; Camino Portuguese 2019
Memo to self:

pick the pimentoes early, and don’t wait until there is a plateful....

the lot in the pics attached to my initial post were hot!!!
 

Mycroft

Active Member
Yes - it has been 18 months since my last Camino, and another is well overdue..... (thanks COVID19)

I know that now is not the right time to start mixing with citizens from many parts of the world andfor passing through many small Spanish communities (with many people who will be especially vulnerable to the ravages of COVID19).

However I have managed to find myself a small diversion - home grown Pimientos de Padrón...

Been trickier to grow that I had hoped for, and hopefully this will not be my last harvest from my dozen plants...

Sigh....
I am not a good gardener, no matter how hard I try. Maybe I need to try to grow peppers. Where did you get your seeds (any chance there are pimientos de padron seeds in the US?)? What type of soil works best?
 

witsendwv

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015)
Memo to self:

pick the pimentoes early, and don’t wait until there is a plateful....

the lot in the pics attached to my initial post were hot!!!
We learned that last summer. We would wait until we had a plateful and inevitably many would be hot. So instead we picked a handful and enjoyed a some a few times a week. (Also makes a good excuse for drinking Spanish vermut)!!!
 

witsendwv

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015)
I am not a good gardener, no matter how hard I try. Maybe I need to try to grow peppers. Where did you get your seeds (any chance there are pimientos de padron seeds in the US?)? What type of soil works best?
Padron seeds are easy to grow. They are available here in the US, but you will probably pay more for shipping than the packet of seeds. I saved seeds from last years plants and have more than I can use in a lifetime. So, far they have a 100% germination rate. If you would like I can send you some. Send me a PM with your address if you are interested. I am not a master gardener, but I can tell you how I grow them. I have two different sizes as I had to leave town for about 10 days and left the first group with my son who proceeded to kill all the but the three in the jars. Not to worry about growing them, they do just need a bit of attention.
1614297727912.png
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I am not a good gardener, no matter how hard I try. Maybe I need to try to grow peppers. Where did you get your seeds (any chance there are pimientos de padron seeds in the US?)? What type of soil works best?
I am not a good gardener and had not had one for many, many years, but since Covid spoiled my spring Camino, I figured "why not". I always say I have a brown thumb, not a green one. I did try peppers, but they were pitiful and failed so I will not do them again. My tomatoes and basil were awesome...but they pretty much grow themselves with almost no pampering.
 

witsendwv

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015)
I am not a good gardener and had not had one for many, many years, but since Covid spoiled my spring Camino, I figured "why not". I always say I have a brown thumb, not a green one. I did try peppers, but they were pitiful and failed so I will not do them again. My tomatoes and basil were awesome...but they pretty much grow themselves with almost no pampering.
Northern Illinois weather is probably similiar to here in the WV mountains. The summer can get hot, but it is short. They need to be started early and put out after Memorial Day. You might want to try growing them in pots, that is how I have been doing it for the past few years. This way you can take advantage of warm days, and move them inside for colder nights. Since they are perennials in warmer climates I tried moving one inside for the winter. It doesn't look pretty right now, but I am not ready to give up on it. :) 🌶️
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I always say I have a brown thumb, not a green one... My tomatoes and basil were awesome...but they pretty much grow themselves with almost no pampering.
Hidden in your words is the secret to a green thumb! It is not a matter of skill, so much as finding the right plants for your garden, with its precise microclimate, so that they WILL grow by themselves without pampering! It takes years to figure out which plants they are, and then it looks like you have become more skilled!

So tomatoes and basil are a great combination that you might want to continue.

I cannot grow tomatoes or peppers or anything that needs a lot of sun. However, for fun, we do put a couple of cherry tomato plants (indeterminate ones that keep growing and growing) in pots with a tall tomato cage in the sunniest warmest place.

I am an "expert" at growing parsley and potatoes, which keep coming back year after year in the strangest locations. My skill amazes me! :cool:

My current focus is on salad greens - trying to keep a 2-person supply of interesting lettuce, arugula, chard, etc., going for 8 months/year. Just last week I confirmed that Astro arugula does not survive much below freezing, but the beet greens and kale are good for a few degrees of freezing. Fortunately we only rarely (i.e. not every year) get temperatures under about -5C (about 23F).

Plant a variety so that you are more likely to get satisfaction from one species or another. And you'll have more success with many plants if you buy the little plants rather than start them from seed.
 

Mycroft

Active Member
I am not a good gardener and had not had one for many, many years, but since Covid spoiled my spring Camino, I figured "why not". I always say I have a brown thumb, not a green one. I did try peppers, but they were pitiful and failed so I will not do them again. My tomatoes and basil were awesome...but they pretty much grow themselves with almost no pampering.
Oh, Chrissy, I was almost in tears 😢when I read you had such good luck with tomatoes and basil--my 2-wished-for items from the garden. I can't get them to do anything where I am in the desert. Other folks here have great luck but I have never been able to get anything but green plants for the tomatoes, and slowly shriveling up basil....
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Oh, Chrissy, I was almost in tears 😢when I read you had such good luck with tomatoes and basil--my 2-wished-for items from the garden. I can't get them to do anything where I am in the desert. Other folks here have great luck but I have never been able to get anything but green plants for the tomatoes, and slowly shriveling up basil....
Sorry to hear about your inability to grow tomatoes and basil, about the only things that thrive for me. This year I am planning to add garlic and spinach so I'll see what happens🙄.
It seems "the plants are always greener on the other side of the fence".
 

Mycroft

Active Member
Padron seeds are easy to grow. They are available here in the US, but you will probably pay more for shipping than the packet of seeds. I saved seeds from last years plants and have more than I can use in a lifetime. So, far they have a 100% germination rate. If you would like I can send you some. Send me a PM with your address if you are interested. I am not a master gardener, but I can tell you how I grow them. I have two different sizes as I had to leave town for about 10 days and left the first group with my son who proceeded to kill all the but the three in the jars. Not to worry about growing them, they do just need a bit of attention.
View attachment 94360
Hopefully I have figured how to do a PM and have correctly sent one to you!! Thanks!
 

Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Oh, Chrissy, I was almost in tears 😢when I read you had such good luck with tomatoes and basil--my 2-wished-for items from the garden. I can't get them to do anything where I am in the desert. Other folks here have great luck but I have never been able to get anything but green plants for the tomatoes, and slowly shriveling up basil....
Do your tomato plants get flowers?
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
I am not a good gardener, no matter how hard I try. Maybe I need to try to grow peppers. Where did you get your seeds (any chance there are pimientos de padron seeds in the US?)? What type of soil works best?
In Galicia the soil is clearly acid.
 

Mycroft

Active Member
Do your tomato plants get flowers?
Yes I get blossoms and then nothing. Last year at the end of Sept/beginning Oct some fruit started to come out but it wasn't long before we had a freeze. I pulled up the plants and let them ripen upsidedown and had about 5 tiny tomatoes.
 
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Yes I get blossoms and then nothing. Last year at the end of Sept/beginning Oct some fruit started to come out but it wasn't long before we had a freeze. I pulled up the plants and let them ripen upsidedown and had about 5 tiny tomatoes.
I have no idea what the climate is like where you live but assuming that you have a long and warm enough spring and summer to grow tomatoes then your problem may be pollination.

Tomatoes don't have much nectar and so are not attractive to honey bees. In addition and helpfully almost all varieties are self fertile and capable of self pollination.

The two most common vectors for pollination are bumble bees which vibrate when within the flowers or strong wind.

In the absence of both of these then you could try shaking the flowers when they are ready for pollination.
 

Mycroft

Active Member
I have no idea what the climate is like where you live but assuming that you have a long and warm enough spring and summer to grow tomatoes then your problem may be pollination.

Tomatoes don't have much nectar and so are not attractive to honey bees. In addition and helpfully almost all varieties are self fertile and capable of self pollination.

The two most common vectors for pollination are bumble bees which vibrate when within the flowers or strong wind.

In the absence of both of these then you could try shaking the flowers when they are ready for pollination.
I am in the desert SW of the US. Very very hot in summer. Lots of wind this time of year and occasionally during the growing season.Terrible soil (clay) so despite years of trying to amend the soil, I now have resorted to large pots. I am happy to shake the plants if you will tell me how I know they are ready for pollination.🤓
 

Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I am in the desert SW of the US. Very very hot in summer. Lots of wind this time of year and occasionally during the growing season.Terrible soil (clay) so despite years of trying to amend the soil, I now have resorted to large pots. I am happy to shake the plants if you will tell me how I know they are ready for pollination.🤓
This video may help

What sort of mix do you use in your large pots? In NZ we can get a specific tomato potting mix. I would assume that would also be possible where you live. This makes life a lot easier because you know that if you use this mix then your tomatoes will have the correct soil.

I grow some of my tomatoes in a raised garden using garden soil with a tomato fertiliser and some of my tomatoes in pots using a tomato potting mix. Both work well but the tomatoes in the pots need more attention as they dry out quicker.

An other idea is to trim off the side shoots once the plant gets a reasonable size so that it puts more effort into the shoots that have flowers on them. Either search youtube for videos on this or closely observe a tomato plant and you will see that the shoots with flowers on them look different. Once you can identify the ones with flowers on them you can remove some of the non flowering shoots to encourage more shoots with flowers. Of course, leave some non flowering shoots so that it can photosynthesise.

I grow almost all of my tomatoes from small seedlings that I buy in the plant store. It is possible to grow them from seeds (of course) but that is more work. Some people keep their own seeds and/or trade seeds or you can buy them from the seed store. Once I get more experienced I will grow some from seeds.

I found this year that my cherry tomatoes cropped the most, tasted the best and were the most hardy. Especially my yellow cherry tomatoes. That may just be a variety characteristic but I suggest that you try some yellow cherry tomatoes in your mix.

The other thing with tomatoes is that they are very subject to fungal disease. I don't use any non organic spray and I don't spray my tomatoes at all and so about mid summer they start dieing off. I accept that as any tomatoes still on the vine will continue to ripen even when the branch or vine dies.

However, this does mean that I must rotate where I plant my tomatoes each year as the fungus gets in the soil and without either heavy chemicals or rotation the next year's crop will die before it gets big enough to have flowers.

Good luck and keep me posted
 

Mycroft

Active Member
This video may help

What sort of mix do you use in your large pots? In NZ we can get a specific tomato potting mix. I would assume that would also be possible where you live. This makes life a lot easier because you know that if you use this mix then your tomatoes will have the correct soil.

I grow some of my tomatoes in a raised garden using garden soil with a tomato fertiliser and some of my tomatoes in pots using a tomato potting mix. Both work well but the tomatoes in the pots need more attention as they dry out quicker.

An other idea is to trim off the side shoots once the plant gets a reasonable size so that it puts more effort into the shoots that have flowers on them. Either search youtube for videos on this or closely observe a tomato plant and you will see that the shoots with flowers on them look different. Once you can identify the ones with flowers on them you can remove some of the non flowering shoots to encourage more shoots with flowers. Of course, leave some non flowering shoots so that it can photosynthesise.

I grow almost all of my tomatoes from small seedlings that I buy in the plant store. It is possible to grow them from seeds (of course) but that is more work. Some people keep their own seeds and/or trade seeds or you can buy them from the seed store. Once I get more experienced I will grow some from seeds.

I found this year that my cherry tomatoes cropped the most, tasted the best and were the most hardy. Especially my yellow cherry tomatoes. That may just be a variety characteristic but I suggest that you try some yellow cherry tomatoes in your mix.

The other thing with tomatoes is that they are very subject to fungal disease. I don't use any non organic spray and I don't spray my tomatoes at all and so about mid summer they start dieing off. I accept that as any tomatoes still on the vine will continue to ripen even when the branch or vine dies.

However, this does mean that I must rotate where I plant my tomatoes each year as the fungus gets in the soil and without either heavy chemicals or rotation the next year's crop will die before it gets big enough to have flowers.

Good luck and keep me posted
Wow! So much to learn; so little time!
Yes, I have seen this tomato mix you mention., but have not purchased any. I have my compost, organic garden soil and the whatevr-it-is local soil in my garden, all of which I try to mix together.
You make excellent points that I will follow--currently of course we are in late winter/early spring and usually we start planting outdoors around 8 May, so 2 more months for me. Glad you mentioned rotating planting location.
Hopefully, I will not crush the blossoms when I pollinate them. I will dig out the magnifying glass!
Many thanks for your kindness.
 

LesR

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017, 2018; Camino Portuguese 2019
Yes - it has been 18 months since my last Camino, and another is well overdue..... (thanks COVID19)

I know that now is not the right time to start mixing with citizens from many parts of the world andfor passing through many small Spanish communities (with many people who will be especially vulnerable to the ravages of COVID19).

However I have managed to find myself a small diversion - home grown Pimientos de Padrón...

Been trickier to grow that I had hoped for, and hopefully this will not be my last harvest from my dozen plants...

Sigh....
2021 second harvest - not as many as I would have liked, but that's life....

Methinks some in the top row have "eat me at your peril" writ large....
 

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Leap of faith

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2012), Frances(2017), Frances (June 2018)
Yes - it has been 18 months since my last Camino, and another is well overdue..... (thanks COVID19)

I know that now is not the right time to start mixing with citizens from many parts of the world andfor passing through many small Spanish communities (with many people who will be especially vulnerable to the ravages of COVID19).

However I have managed to find myself a small diversion - home grown Pimientos de Padrón...

Been trickier to grow that I had hoped for, and hopefully this will not be my last harvest from my dozen plants...

Sigh....
I have been looking at various walking options available in Australia. I have decided to take on the Larapinta Trail in central Australia in August. Hopefully I will learn something of our first peoples’ spirtituality and enjoy some bush tucker.
 

Leap of faith

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2012), Frances(2017), Frances (June 2018)
I have been looking at various walking options available in Australia. I have decided to take on the Larapinta Trail in central Australia in August. Hopefully I will learn something of our first peoples’ spirtituality and enjoy some bush tucker.
 

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