Thursday, August 7, 2014

As the Garden Grows

Well, as I've been trying to keep the school garden updated in this blog, I've neglected updating my own home garden, which is doing rather well. Bear with me, this post may get long-ish.

Marionberries: Sadly a week or so ago we said farewell with this final handful of super-ripe goodness:

We harvested well over 20lbs of fruit and my freezer runneth over of their goodness. Now I need to suck it up and start canning and baking. The weather has been unusual in that it has been continuously warm. We usually have some cool days/rain breaks. This summer we've had maybe two.
Strawberries: Still chugging away. They are in an upswing right now. Kiddos are happy. 
Blackberries: They're here -early!! I picked my first sampling last week (we don't usually get to do it until later in the month as we have a later-producing, thornless variety), and they were good. A little on the tart side, but very flavorful. Now it is time to start seriously picking. A lot of them are right in the center of the bush, which because of it's height, means I'll need a step-stool to snag these beauties:
Cucumbers: We put these into what had become a compost bed, then hubby added soil, turned it a bit, and BOOM, you get seriously crazy cucumber growth -not to mention the good-sized tomatillo volunteers in the back (right of the picture).
These plants are so densely packed it's kind of a challenge to find the cucumbers themselved. We're going to find some monsters in there, I know it!!
Tomatillos: These are all volunteers from our experimental (bumper) crop last year. Looks like we'll get enough to make a few batches of Salsa Verde again this year -YUM!! Here is the recipe I used from Ball Canning: Tomatillo Salsa, and I love to use it in this family favorite crock-pot recipe: Chile Verde
Corn: This is probably our 3rd or 4th go at corn. Our first couple tries were unsuccessful, but last year worked out well, hence, an attempted repeat this year. Hubby bought twice as many plant starts this year, and so far it's looking good. I just wish it would ripen already! I want to roast those ears up on the grill and butter 'em up!
Beans: We've got some green pole beans flanking either side of the corn. They got planted at least a month later than they should have been, so are taking their sweet time, but have held up beautifully in the heat, and have got some teeny little beans going. 

Watermelon: This was a random, fill in an empty patch, we have some leftover seeds from last year, planting. Hubby was not really inclined to have them planted as they were a total bust last year, and from all the times we've attempted them, we've gotten maybe 2 or 3 edible small melons. I am very hopeful this year:

Peppers: Aside from the berries, we consider these to be the biggest success this year. Hubby and the Eldest love peppers, and we've grown them for the past few years with varying degrees of success. Nothing like this though. We've got 2 Green Bells, 2 Yellow Bells, and 2 Hungarian Hot Wax. They are all amazing this year!! The size and quantity are at least doubled on our previous "best crop". We've already eaten up a few, and I plan to smoke/roast a bunch of the Hot Wax to use later in the year, and some will, of course, go into the salsa mentioned above.

Tomatoes: Ripen already would ya?? We have what feels like a zillion tomatoes, but nothing has ripened yet. Not even the Green Zebras. 8 plants this year that have gone berserk. Canned tomato sauce will be happening this year.

Cool-weather crops: Not pictured. Last Fall, rather late-Summer, I made another unsuccessful attempt at growing turnips. I love turnips and have had the worst luck growing them as a spring crop (if you have a secret/tip/etc. let me know), so I thought we'd try the Fall/Winter crop route. Planted broccoli, turnips, and I think kale. NOTHING! We got a couple of sprouts, and then NOTHING! Fast forward to end of June: Beds have been turned, left same bed unplanted. I see some "weeds" that don't look like the usual fare. We left them to see what would become of them...Ta-Da! Turnips! There were 4, but not even more have started growing. Go figure! A friend had given me some Pak Choi starts and we planted those nearby the turnips using their leaves for shade. This has worked out really well for the pak choi. Reason there is no picture: When the weather started getting really warm about 4 weeks ago, we draped a sheet around the puppy fencing to keep the plants from getting completely scorched. It has worked beautifully, but doesn't provide the best photo setting. It'll probably come down in a couple weeks, then I'll take a pic for ya.

Herbs: Here are my new herbs that I received from my Hubby and my dear co-worker between Mother's Day & my Birthday. Beautiful!!
From foreground->back: Tri-Color Sage, Purple Sage, Golden Sage, Pineapple Mint, Oregano, & African Blue Basil. Yoga Frog keeps them all peaceful and happy. :)
Last, a sample of yesterday's harvest (what didn't get eaten or passed around):
Oops, honorable mention to our zucchini, yellow squash, and onion plants who are among our early producers, and we're happy they're a part of our garden too!

Have a great day!!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Your garden is so lush. Our garden is much, much smaller and less varied, but we've gotten several cucumbers, lots of lettuce and three small tomatoes, so far. The cabbages are looking good, and tomatillo plants are working hard.


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