Plums! The plum tree we planted last Fall made three plums this year. We’re pretty excited about it! And the fig trees, after getting a very late start this year due to the very cold winter (we weren’t even sure they made it through), have started putting out the first figs. We’re sure to be competing with a variety of critters once the figs start to ripen. It doesn’t look like we’re going to have any apples this year but the trees are looking very healthy as she has been very diligent about knocking the Japanese beetles into a small tub of water and disposing of them daily. The beetles are very destructive and we can’t wait for their season to be over in a few more weeks.
Summertime harvests are clipping along. The tomato deluge began a couple of weeks ago and the cucumbers have been producing like gangbusters for longer than that. We went three weeks without any rain (yikes!) so we had to water by hand, using our well water after the rain barrels went dry. The lack of rain was a bummer but the garden plants actually appreciate not getting their leaves wet. The tomato and cucumber plants are among the healthiest looking we’ve ever had at this stage of summer and we’re pretty sure it’s because of the dry weather, coupled with a relatively low number of pests this year because of the very cold winter we had.
We got a fair number of blueberries from the one bush that is producing berries. There were enough to make our cheddar blueberry jalapeno muffins (recipe link on homepage). The picture shows about half of the berries we ended up with over the course of a week. We’ve also gotten several small handfuls of raspberries and blackberries but these go from cane to mouth, so no pics.
We lost the first two summer squash plants to squash vine borers last Monday and the remaining plants all have them so it won’t be long before summer squash season is over for us. We’re happy with the amount of summer squash we got this year and are almost tired of eating it several times a week in various dishes. Here’s a link to a keeper recipe we tried this year: http://www.mrfood.com/Vegetables/Italian-Stuffed-Zucchini-Boats (we used a garlic scape run through the mini processor instead of the minced garlic the recipe called for and it was delicious).
This year’s onions are all cured and trimmed and are waiting to be put through the food processor for chopping and then freezing. We like preserving our onions this way since it results in no loss due to rotting in storage. The frozen onions work great in cooking applications.
This past weekend we canned 7 more pints of haricot verts and the first 7 pints of tomato sauce. Total pints of haricot verts canned this year is currently 39!
We’ve raided the potato plants twice in the past couple of weeks in order to have new potatoes for dinner. The plants are mostly died back at this point and so we’ll be digging the potatoes soon. If only there were more than 24 hours in the day…
All in all, the garden is doing really well. We planted a bunch of various winter squash this year (since we’ve had such bad luck in past years getting them to actually make a squash) and the vines are taking over the garden. It seems like every time we go out we need to remove another vine from attempting to invade an adjacent box (we do this by putting it down on the ground, not by cutting it!). There are numerous actual squash growing, some of which are almost ready to harvest, and we don’t seem to have the problem of a half-grown squash detaching from the vine this year. Hopefully we’ll be inundated with winter squash come Fall.
The field peas and butter beans are all growing strongly and should start producing in about a month or so. Then the shelling fun begins…