Archive for the ‘Garden’ Category

Falling into Autumn

October 26, 2014

Wow, how time flies! It’s already been 2 months since our last blog post. Double WOW for the tomato year we’ve had this year. Amazingly, many of the tomato plants planted way back in April are still producing, although looking pretty ragged. This will likely be their last week as it’s forecast to frost next weekend (a bit later than average for us). We have so much canned and frozen tomato sauce that we may not need to grow sauce tomatoes next year!

Plenty of Tomatoes

Plenty of Tomatoes

Last of the Tomatoes

Getting to be the Last of the Tomatoes

It’s been a great season in the garden (except for melons which eluded us this year). We’ve gotten so many winter squash of various sorts this year that we’re probably going to give some away. There are just far too many for us to consume. We decided to try roasting the seeds of the ones we’ve used and loved the result so much that we’ve roasted seeds three times this season. Just separate as much pulp from the seeds as reasonably possible; rinse and pat dry; toss with oil of your choice, salt, and paprika (we love the paprika addition); and roast in a single layer at 300-325 degrees for about 20 minutes (stirring at 10 minutes in). They made a great crunchy snack! We stored them in the ‘fridge.

Roasted Winter Squash Seeds

Roasted Winter Squash Seeds

Winter Squash

Winter Squash

Yes More

Yes More

You didn't think we were done did you?

You didn’t think we were done did you?

It’s been a very productive season in the garden, even though time constraints left us tending to the garden only two or three times a week this year. We got plenty of figs (unexpected because last winter was really harsh and parts of both trees were damaged), carrots, butter beans, field peas, haricots verts and other green beans, beets, cucumbers, sweet and hot peppers, okra, herbs of various sorts, eggplant, shelling beans, and a smattering of raspberries and blackberries (which never make it inside to be photographed as she eats them as she picks them).

Harvest

Harvest

Harvests like squash

Harvests like squash

See the squash?

See the squash?

Summer Harvest Day

Summer Harvest Day

Carrots

Carrots

Canned Carrots

Canned Carrots

Canned Pickled Taqueria Carrots

Canned Pickled Taqueria Carrots

Field Peas & Butter Beans

Field Peas & Butter Beans

Flagrano Shelling Beans

Flagrano Shelling Beans drying

Butter Beans

Butter Beans – Lots of Shelling Happened!

Field Peas

Blanched Field Peas & a Couple of Radishes

The fall “crops” – cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Chinese kale, mustard, and lacinato kale – are all doing really well. The broccoli and cauliflower haven’t produced anything yet but the plants are the best looking ones of these types we’ve ever grown. We attribute it partially to our willingness to try hybrids (as opposed to heirlooms) this year. Lately we’ve been harvesting radishes and arugula for salads. We’ve had to purchase lettuce this season because our lettuce crop didn’t do well with the neglect and didn’t make it. C’est la vie…

Parsley

Parsley container

Kale

Kale patch

Cauliflower & Broccoli

Cauliflower & Broccoli box

Cabbages & Chinese Kale

Cabbages & Chinese Kale

It's the Great Cabbage, Charlie Brown!

It’s the Great Cabbage, Charlie Brown!

Autumn Garden

Autumn Garden

Autumn Garden 2

Another View of the Autumn Garden

Unfortunately, when we went out to the garden this weekend, two of the apple trees we planted last fall were broken about two feet above the ground. It was very disheartening. We suspect deer. We cut the trees at the break and hope they will come back next year. At least 3 feet of growth was lost from each tree.

Broken and Sad Apple Tree

Broken and Sad Apple Tree

Shattered Dreams Apple Tree

Shattered Dreams Apple Tree

Hopefully it won’t be two more months until our next blog post, but you never know. There’s just so much time in the day and choices about priorities have to be made. Thanks for reading!

High Summer in NC

July 27, 2014
Potatoes curing in basement

Potatoes curing in basement

Potatoes and winter squash! We dug the potatoes this weekend and are quite happy with the amount we got this year. They’re currently curing in the basement. We also cut several butternut squash that were ready. These are “Metro” variety from Johnny’s and they’re supposed to be smaller sized; the catalog description says between 2-1/2 and 3-1/2 pounds each. Ours are much smaller. The largest is a bit over 1-1/4 pounds and the smaller ones aren’t even half a pound each. Oh well, we’re happy to have gotten winter squash this year since it’s an unreliable crop for us. We’re expecting quite a few more other types of winter squash as they are currently maturing on the vine. In past years, we’ve had problems with winter squash partially growing and then shriveling a bit before detaching from the vine. This year, that happened with just one squash.

Winter Squash

Winter Squash

Winter squash

Winter squash

Winter squash taking over

Winter squash taking over

We canned 15 pints of haricot verts (French green beans) this week! The plants are now nearing the end of their lives but there are still a few beans sizing up. We also canned another 5 pints of tomato sauce.

Canned haricot vert

Canned haricot vert

Tomato sauce

Tomato sauce

The first round of cucumbers are still producing but have slowed down considerably. The leaves of the plants have started to show the various diseases cucumbers eventually get so she cut off many leaves this week to hopefully slow the spread of disease.

Cucumbers!

Cucumbers!

Fall “crops” including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kales, and mustard were started in the basement on the 14th and most are up and growing at this point. These seedlings get planted out near the end of August.

Fall seedlings

Fall seedlings

Cabbages heading up

Cabbages heading up

All but two of the summer squash plants have been removed at this point. Squash vine borers did them in. The two remaining plants are patty pan squashes that also have SVBs but have established root points at many places along their stems so parts of the plants are still doing OK and female flowers have formed. Since we don’t need the space yet, we decided to let them be to see if the squash actually mature.

Okra plant - foreground

Okra plant – foreground

The tomato plants are doing really well this year because we haven’t gotten much rainfall (tomatoes don’t like to get their leaves wet)and also because we switched over to growing primarily hybrids that have some disease resistance. We had a few Amish Paste seeds left (an heirloom variety) so we’re growing 3 or 4 Amish Paste plants and it’s telling how much better the hybrids are doing. Not only are the hybrids significantly more productive but the AP plants are the ones that have the inevitable disease problems first. The AP plants aren’t looking so great anymore while the various hybrids are all looking good. Particularly when it comes to tomatoes, we’re going to stick with hybrids in the future!

Haricot Vert box

Haricot Vert box – coming to the end of their season

Baby watermelon

Baby watermelon

Orange, Blue, Red, Gold, Green, Purple: Colors of the Garden

July 14, 2014

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.

Orange tomatoes & blue plums

Orange tomatoes & blue plums

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.

And the deluge begins

And the deluge begins

One day of Cucumbers

One day of Cucumbers

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.

Blueberries

Blueberries

Blackberries & Raspberries in background

Blackberries & Raspberries in background

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).

Typical harvest day

Typical harvest day

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.

Onion harvest, cured and trimmed

Onion harvest, cured and trimmed

Hardneck garlic, cured and trimmed

Hardneck garlic, cured and trimmed

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!

Yes, we have haricot verts

Yes, we have haricot verts

A few more cucumbers

A few more cucumbers

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…

Potatoes for Dinner - Yukon Golds & Red Pontiacs

Potatoes for Dinner – Yukon Golds & Red Pontiacs

But don't miss a day!  Or you get this!

But don’t miss a day! Or you get this!

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.

Winter Squash Cover De World

Winter Squash Cover De World

And taking over more

And taking over more

Heirloom type butternut

Heirloom type butternut

butternut squash almost ready

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…

Bush butterbeans, running

Bush butterbeans, running

Garden Frog Under Rain Barrel - Peeking

Garden Frog Under Rain Barrel – Peeking

Fairy Tale Eggplants

Fairy Tale Eggplants

Red Tomato

Red Tomato

 

 

Red Tomatoes ! Also Grilled Squash recipe

June 21, 2014

In Honor of the First Tomatoes…

First Tomatoes

First Tomatoes

We’re doing a special post in honor of the first tomatoes of the year! Two Early Girls. Picked a bit early because she started fretting that some critter was going to beat us to the totally ripe tomato. These two will sit on the counter for a couple of days to fully ripen before being enjoyed as tomato sandwiches.

The last of the lettuce for the season was cut on Friday. There was quite a bit still in the garden – we’ll be sharing with friends and have plenty for us too. We keep our washed lettuce rolled in layers between paper towels in the refrigerator and find that it easily keeps for two weeks this way, often even longer.

Mound of Lettuces

Mound of Lettuces

We’ve been getting plenty of summer squash and cucumbers. We made three more quarts of refrigerator pickles this week and won’t have to buy cucumbers for our homemade green juices for the foreseeable future. More canning of haricot verts will be happening this weekend. The plants are really productive right now!

More than it looks like - Haricot Verts

More than it looks like – Haricot Verts

The field peas we planted last Sunday had already come up strongly by Thursday. One day there was just dirt and the next day there were 2 inch tall field pea seedlings. It’s amazing how fast field peas grow! Other things planted on Sunday are also coming up (butter beans, flagrano shell beans, more winter squash, and more haricot verts) but they tend to burst forth a bit slower than field peas.

Zucchini, Patty Pan Squash & Cucumbers

We recently tried a new summer squash recipe and really enjoyed it (enough that we made it again just a few days later). So for those of you looking for new ways to prepare your squash bounty, here’s one you might want to try. We make ours in a grill pan on the stovetop but you can adapt the technique to use an outdoor grill if you wish.

Grilled Zucchini with Olives, Cilantro, and Tomato

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 or 3 teaspoons tamari (to taste)

2 teaspoons ground pepper

1 or 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (to taste)

2 or 3 summer squash (yellow or zucchini), cut in half lengthwise

1 tablespoon minced garlic

¾ cup diced tomatoes

¼ cup pimento stuffed green olives, drained and sliced

½ teaspoon salt

½ to ¾ cup vegetable stock

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

 

Preparation:

In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of olive oil with tamari, 1 teaspoon pepper, and balsamic vinegar.

Heat the grill pan on medium high

Brush squash on all sides with the stuff you just mixed.

Sear the summer squash on both sides and then reduce heat to medium and cover the pan so the squash will cook all the way through with just a little bit of steaming happening.

While the squash is cooking, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and brown slightly. Add tomatoes, olives, salt, and remaining teaspoon of pepper. Cook for 3 or so minutes and then add vegetable stock. Continue to cook until volume reduces by one quarter. Stir in cilantro, pour over grilled squash, and serve.

Summer – June 15, 2014

June 15, 2014

We’ve been happily harvesting and eating from the garden all month. Pea season is now over – we removed the plants today even though they were still producing a little but the mid- to upper-90s forecast for later in the week will do them in. All in all, we were pleased with pea season this year. It got started a bit late due to winter really hanging on but we had our fill of sugar snap, snow, and shelling (English) peas.

Zucchini

Zucchini

Cucumbers and Squash

Cucumbers and Squash

First canning of haricot verts

First canning of haricot verts

Lettuce season is almost over too. We had so much lettuce that we shared with friends and co-workers a couple of weeks ago. Braising greens (mustard, kales, turnip greens) have also been abundant and we’ve made and frozen plenty of braised greens for eatin’ year-round. Summer crops have come in strong. We’re harvesting shareable quantities of summer squash (three types: yellow crookneck, patty pan, and zucchini) and also plenty of cucumbers. We’ve already made our first batch of refrigerator pickles, which includes our own dill, with more to come this week. We’ve also already both eaten & canned lots of haricot verts (French filet green beans).

Lettuce patch

Lettuce patch

First tomato turning red

First tomato turning red

The first tomatoes are starting to turn red! We can’t wait for the tomatoes, they usually happen the first week of July for us.

Beets drying

Beets drying

Beet Tops eaten by deer

Beet Tops eaten by deer

Deer ate the tops off of the beets so we went ahead and pulled them up. We were actually surprised at how many usable beets there were. This is probably our best beet harvest ever. We usually have problems getting the beets to size up to a usable size so we were pleased to get so many large enough to use. Admittedly, we’re not winning any awards for largest beet though.

Onions curing

Onions curing

Softneck garlic was pulled up and cured a couple of weeks ago and the hardneck garlic was pulled up today. We also pulled all of the onions today and they are curing. Most of the onions will be diced in the food processor and frozen. This was a technique we tried for the first time last year and we were pleased with the results and were able to use our own onions in our cooking for most of the winter.

Watermelons

Watermelons

Butter Beans

Butter Beans

Charentais Melon box

Charentais Melon box

Succession planting has been in full swing. Some butter beans (a.k.a. lima beans) got planted last weekend where the radishes had been growing and a few more haricot vert went in a small front yard box that had held lettuce. More melons (charentais and watermelon) were also planted and are already coming up. Today we seeded field peas, butter beans, cucumbers, French climbing beans, flagrano shelling beans, and more winter squash where the various types of peas had been growing and in various and sundry available spots.

Potato plants starting to die back

Potato plants starting to die back

The potatoes are almost ready to be dug and last week we stole a few new potatoes from some of the plants for dinner. They were wonderful steamed and topped with a bit of butter and our parsley.

Winter squash running

Winter squash running

Cabbage head

Cabbage head

Baby Butternut Squash

Baby Butternut Squash

The weather has not been conducive to the brassicas this year (which are very hit-and-miss for us each year). We may get a couple of small heads of broccoli and cabbage but the cauliflower looks like a no-go this season. We’ve had to remove quite a few brassica plants due to excessive caterpillar damage as well, despite spraying Bt and hand-picking those dang caterpillars. The winter squash plants are sprawling about although we’re concerned that the first squashes likely did not get well-pollinated – they’re looking like they’re on the verge of shriveling (a common problem for us). But at least the haricot vert, the dependable workhorses of the garden year after year, are producing like crazy!

Pear trees we planted last fall

Pear trees we planted last fall

Plums on tree we planted last fall

Plums on tree we planted last fall

Garden 2

Mid June Garden View

Garden 1

Another mid June garden view

Hydrangeas given fighting chance by cutting back the azaleas

Hydrangeas given fighting chance by cutting back the azaleas

First eggplant forming

First eggplant forming

Fig Trees

Fig Trees

Dill, with Sage behind

Dill, with Sage behind

Cucumbers on the Vine

Cucumbers on the Vine

Cucumber Trellising

Cucumber Trellising

Celery Patch

Celery Patch

Carrot Patch

Carrot Patch

Blueberries

Blueberries waiting to turn blue

Blackberries forming

Blackberries forming

Basil Patch

Basil Patch

It’s May, It’s May!

May 11, 2014

…the merry month of May!

We’ve taken quite a hiatus since September, and done a lot of work on the garden as well.  Doing the posts each week had become as much of a chore as a pleasure, so we rested.  Now we’ll be doing posts again, but probably more like once a month than once a week. So if you want to subscribe or follow the blog to catch when we update, you are welcome to do so.

To start with, we replaced the vast majority of our boxes.  The old 12′ 2×12 yellow pine boxes had started to rot last year quite quickly (5-6 years).  We investigated a number of treated lumber types (and other products) and found a treated 4″x4″ that we liked.   The new boxes are a full 3′ wide and come in 10′ long sections.  The shortest box is 10′ long, the longest one is 30′ long.  While we reduced the number of “boxes”, we actually increased our total square and cubic footage that we have in raised bed boxes.

And we cut down some more trees in the back and side yard, partly to protect the septic drainage field area, and partly to get more sun and make more room.  So naturally we came behind that and planted:

3 nanking cherry bushes

2 pears

2 plums

4 more apple trees

4 more blueberry bushes

This brings the fruit total to 7 apples, 2 pears, 2 plums, 3 fig trees, 3 cherry bushes, 6 blueberries, and our raspberry and blackberry boxes.

The seedlings she started this year overall did extremely well; and look healthier and better than ever before.  At this point most of the garden is planted out for the next succession planting.  We also got the new boxes in last fall in time to do the annual garlic and winter crops: greens, radishes, carrots, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

The asparagus this year was our best year so far, as we were more coordinated in harvesting it.  Most of it is ferns now already, but we had almost 3 weeks of multiple meals of asparagus this spring.

And now more pictures:

February:

February - lots of snow

February – lots of snow

March:

Iced Azalea in March

Iced Azalea in March

Ice encrusted blueberry bush in March

Ice encrusted blueberry bush in March

April:

Tomato box after planting out end of April

Tomato box after planting out end of April

Raspberry box at end of april

Raspberry box at end of april

Potatoes, end of April

Potatoes, end of April

Late April Garden

Late April Garden

Late April blackberry box

Late April blackberry box

Garden - Late April

Garden – Late April

 

May:

Tomatoes with some cauliflower in front

Tomatoes with some cauliflower in front

Summer squash, with tomatillos & broccoli in rear

Summer squash, with tomatillos & broccoli in rear

Sugar snaps up the trellis - garlic in rear box

Sugar snaps up the trellis – garlic in rear box

Overwintered carrots before harvest

Overwintered carrots before harvest

Oregano clump with lavender plants

Oregano clump with lavender plants

Onions

Onions

Mustard & Kale in front of tomatoes

Mustard & Kale in front of tomatoes

Garden View1

Garden View1

Garden View 2

Garden View 2

Garden view 3

Garden view 3

New apple trees

New apple trees

Lettuces in porch box

Lettuces in porch box

Front yard apple trees and flower plants

Front yard apple trees and flower plants

Kale box with shelling peas in rear

Kale box with shelling peas in rear

Happy garlic!

Happy garlic!

1st Potato Bloom!

1st Potato Bloom!

Porch box Cilantro

Porch box Cilantro

Celery Area

Celery Area

Cabbage box

Cabbage box

Asparagus

Asparagus

Asparagus box

Asparagus box

Arugula

Arugula

4 Eggplants shortly after planting out

4 Eggplants shortly after planting out

2 4'x4' boxes replaced: pepper plants in the foreground

2 4′x4′ boxes replaced: pepper plants in the foreground

 

 

23 September Weekly Update

September 23, 2013

Yesterday were Frodo and Bilbo Baggins’ birthdays; I hope you spent as much time in celebration as we did.

Harvests this week were:  lots of butter beans, field peas, green beans, and a variety of sweet and hot peppers.

Early Fall Harvest

Early Fall Harvest

We were quite busy with other commitments this week so we had to cram picking and other garden tasks into Sunday afternoon.  We sprayed BT on the Fall crops again as new caterpillars have hatched.  Hopefully the caterpillars will all die after the first frost (generally around the 15th of October).  We also re-seeded lettuce in one of the boxes where NONE of four different varieties germinated (I think they were originally seeded 3 or 4 weeks ago).  Additionally, we seeded mache, cilantro, radishes, and more lettuces in porch boxes.

Butter Beans & Green Beans

Butter Beans & Green Beans

15 September Weekly Update

September 15, 2013

Harvests this week were:  plenty of field peas and butter beans, figs, green beans, sweet and hot peppers, lettuce from the experimental porch box, and a small watermelon.  We haven’t cut the melon open yet but we’re hoping it’s ready since the vine it was growing on was 95% dead.   We also did a significant cutting of the basil and dried it but we forgot to get a picture of it…

Lettuces

Lettuce

Late Summer Harvest

Late Summer Harvest

Peas & Beans

Field Peas, Butter Beans & Green Beans

Bucket of Peas & Beans

Bucket of Field Peas & Butter Beans

We removed another garden box this week in preparation for the total replacement we’ll be doing either next month or in November.  The garden is definitely starting to slow down production-wise but the Fall crops are growing well.  We had to spray BT early in the week because caterpillars were on almost all the Fall stuff.  I think two or three plants may have been eaten down to the point that they may not recover.

Another Box removed in preparation for the fall project

Another box removed in preparation for the fall project

Radishes, Turnips, Beets

Radishes, Turnips, Beets

It’s been about two weeks since we’ve gotten rain and we used up all of the water in the rain barrels during the week.  Since the forecast for rain isn’t looking very good this week either, we ended up using the faucet for watering on Sunday.  It’s the first time in over a year that we’ve had to do so.

will it mature prior to frost?

will it mature prior to frost?

Mustards & Kales

Mustards & Kales

Garden View

Garden View

Fall Cauliflower

Fall Cauliflower

Butternut almost ready

Butternut almost ready

Butter Beans on the Vine

Butter Beans on the Vine

Butter Beans on the tomato trellis

Butter Beans taking over the former tomato trellis

Banana Peppers

Banana Peppers

Garden View 2

Garden View 2

9 September Weekly Update

September 9, 2013
Hot peppers & field peas

Hot peppers & field peas

Pickings this week were:  more figs!; a variety of sweet and hot peppers, including the first El Chacos in quantity and Tabascos; green beans; plenty of field peas; a small eggplant; tomatillos; butter beans; one cucumber from the plants seeded at the end of July; and a large winter squash.

September Harvest

September Harvest

Sweet Peppers & Green Beans

Sweet Peppers & Green Beans

The winter squash is an heirloom butternut type from Italy and when we last successfully grew it, the fruits were the same shape as this one but they were the color of regular butternut squash.  This one is more the color of a hubbard squash and I’ve been waiting for it to turn tan but it’s been doing so very slowly.  Since the vine it had been growing on was 95% dead and the skin can’t be easily pierced with your nails, I decided to go ahead and harvest it.  Hopefully it’ll look normal when we cut it open.

We’re in pepper preservation mode.  On Monday, we’ll be drying many of the hot peppers to make our own chili powder and when we get home from work we’ll slice and can the jalapenos.  I usually try to leave the jalapenos on the plant until they turn red but this year many of them are rotting before they turn color, so I decided to go ahead and pick all of the green ones of usable size.  We’ll also be canning many of the green beans on Monday evening.  We diced 2 quart freezer bags worth of sweet peppers on Sunday afternoon and added them to the other frozen sweet peppers in the deep freeze for use over the winter.  We now have 5 quarts of homegrown sweet peppers preserved!

Winter squash & More

Winter squash & More

We didn’t spend too much time in the garden this week due to other obligations but on Sunday morning, she removed the last of the tomatillo plants and also the older cucumber plants.  These particular cucumbers never really did make many cucs but they had succumbed to some sort of wilt.  Early in the week, we did manage to plant out the Fall seedlings we purchased last weekend to augment the plants we had started in the basement.  We planted more cauliflower, broccoli, mustard, and two types of kale.  We’ll try to remember to get pictures of the transplants in the new beds for next week’s post.  The arugula and radishes we seeded last weekend are all up and growing as well.

Dried Serranos

Dried Serranos

2 September Weekly Update

September 2, 2013
Figs!

Figs!

We unexpectedly got lots of figs this week!  Since critters normally beat us to ripe figs, we’re a bit lax in checking the fig trees but on Sunday morning, she noticed a half-eaten ripe fig on the ground and decided to look up and saw ripe figs galore!  We’re very excited about finally getting figs.

Harvest One

Harvest One

Summer Bounty

Summer Bounty

Other pickings this week were:  lots of sweet peppers and Serranos, a few other hot peppers, blueberries, cucumbers, field peas, butter beans, a few tomatillos, and the last of the tomatoes.  We also got a handful of raspberries but, as usual, ate them as we picked them so there’s no picture.

Another Day

Another Day

We had enough field peas and butter beans this week that we’ve moved into preservation mode for these “crops.”  We blanched, packaged, and froze several servings worth of both of these legumes.  We also dice and freeze the extra sweet peppers.  We used to can them but then decided to try freezing them and decided that using frozen peppers in cooking applications over the winter was totally acceptable.

Field Peas & Butter Beans

Blanched Field Peas & Butter Beans drying before freezing

We removed the last of the paste tomato plants this week along with the bush beans.  We now have only the Old Dutch Half Runner beans and they are definitely work horses in the garden.  We also seeded arugula, a leaf lettuce blend, and more radishes this week.  Since we ended up doing two of the new boxes (finishing only one was the original “must do” plan), we plan to purchase a few more Fall crop starts this week.

Blueberries

Blueberries

 

Just a little

Just a little


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