Archive for the ‘Garden’ Category

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

25 August Weekly Update

August 25, 2013
Apple Harvest

Apple Harvest

We picked the apples this week!  Although apples in the south tend to get black splotches on them (at least the ones grown organically), the “he” part of “us” assures me that this always happened on the apples when he was growing up and people suffered no ill effects from eating them.  We tried one of the apples and haven’t died yet so maybe he’s right.  The apple was very tasty – tart with a little bit of sweetness mixed in.  Just how I like ‘em.

New box

New box

Garden View

Garden View

Removed bed space

Removed bed space

We were very busy in the garden this week filling up the two new boxes with soil (and mixing in coarse vermiculite) and then topping the boxes off with soil dug out from empty existing boxes.  We also removed the slicing tomato plants and some of the paste tomato plants (which is why there are so many green tomatoes in one picture).  Hopefully the green fruits will ripen on the counter.  We still have 8 paste tomato plants with quite a few green fruits in one box so we left them for now.  All in all, it was a weak tomato year around here.

One Day - Harvest

One Day – Harvest

We also removed the haricot vert plants from one of the long boxes.  They had been planted in mid-April and they were just “done” at this point of the year.  On Sunday morning, we canned 6 more pints of haricot vert and other green beans.  We also removed some of the cucumber vines that were part of the first round of cucumbers planted out in mid-April, so they lasted a good amount of time.  The Fall cucumbers are doing OK – they never seem to grow very well at this time of year when compared to Spring plantings, probably because pests and diseases are already around when the plants are young whereas Spring planted crops have fewer pest/disease problems early on so they thrive more.

One Day in August

One Day in August

Lettuces

Lettuces

Canned Haricot Vert & Green Beans

Canned Haricot Vert & Green Beans

Butter Beans - to be shelled

Butter Beans – to be shelled

Other pickings this week were:  sweet peppers, lots of Serranos, cucumbers, field peas, butter beans, a few tomatillos, and lettuce from the front porch experimental railing box.  We also got a handful of raspberries but, once again, ate them as we picked them so there’s no picture.

Bounty

Bounty

Mid-week, we seeded 4 types of head lettuce in an existing box that won’t be removed this Fall and in one of the new boxes, we seeded radishes, hakurei turnips, beets, and carrots.  By Saturday, all but the carrots had already come up.  (Carrots tend to take several days longer to germinate than many Fall plants).  On Saturday, we transplanted out our Fall starts that had been hardening off for a few days: broccoli, cauliflower, red and green cabbage, kale, and mustard.  For some reason, our starts really don’t look all that healthy this season so if they’re not looking a whole lot better by next weekend, I may decide to purchase some starts to increase our chances of getting a harvest.  Later today, we’ll directly sow some more kale and mustard since we didn’t get the number of plants we had tried for.

Early in the week we got quite a bit of rain one day and it caused one of the watermelons to split.  The next day, I noticed that a different watermelon had started rotting so the compost pile ended up with two of our watermelons.  We’re not having a great melon year again this year…  At least the field pea and butter bean gods are smiling down upon us :)

Watermelon wrapped in Mesh

Watermelon wrapped in Mesh

Wall of Field Pea Vines

Wall of Field Pea Vines

Thai Hot Peppers

Thai Hot Peppers

Tabasco Peppers waiting to change color

Tabasco Peppers waiting to change color

Sweet Potato Vines Running

Sweet Potato Vines Running

Fall Cucumber Plants

Fall Cucumber Plants

Butternut Squash on the Vine

Butternut Squash on the Vine

30+ Foot Butternut Vines coming over the wall

30+ Foot Butternut Vines coming over the wall

Butter Beans in bloom

Butter Beans in bloom

18 August Weekly Update

August 18, 2013
Lots of Field Peas coming in

Lots of Field Peas coming in

This week we picked:  a few sweet peppers, lots of Serranos, a small Long Island cheese squash, a couple of patty pan summer squash, tomatoes, lots of green beans, cucumbers, a couple of long eggplants (albeit smallish ones), field peas, butter beans, a few tomatillos, and lettuce from the front porch experimental railing box.

And Green beans

And Green beans

Bounty of a Day

Bounty of a Day

Another Day

Another Day

A quickie pass through

A quickie pass through

Lettuces - in August!

Lettuces – in August!

I’m about to wage a war on wildlife!  In addition to the squirrels regularly (as in *daily*) getting a tomato or two, “something” (we initially thought it was a coon but now think it was also squirrels; who knows, maybe some of both) ate all of our cantaloupe melons through the course of the week, despite our efforts to wrap them in mesh in an attempt to deter varmints.  I am so mad!  Eight melons and we ended up with dribs and drabs (I’m not too proud to cut off the un-nibbled parts of the leavings…).  The dribs and drabs weren’t really quite ready so they aren’t very sweet but we’ll put them through the juicer to become part of our regular juicing routine.  Deer also got a good meal from our bean leaves and sweet potato vines.

Doesn't that melon look beautiful!

Doesn’t that melon look beautiful!

But it had it top chewed off

But it had its top chewed off

Another ravaged victim

Another ravaged victim

Shelled butter beans

Shelled butter beans

Roasted tomatoes

Roasted tomatoes

We completed two of the replacement boxes (bases were pictured in last week’s post) but we still need to fill them up with compost/vermiculite.  We had planned to do that on Friday and Saturday but the compost delivery on Friday ended up being late in the afternoon and it rained most of the day on Saturday.  Hopefully we’ll be able to get out on Sunday afternoon and finish at least one of them.

We removed the melon vines and will soon seed head lettuce in the space.  I had planned on removing the two remaining patty pans squash plants as well but, although the main stems and older stems are almost completely deteriorated from SVBs, the plants have rooted new growth and the new leaves are looking very healthy and the plants are producing many flowers.  So I decided to let them keep going.

We are having some problems, same as last year, with our butternut squash fruits.  One medium sized immature fruit detached from the vine and started shriveling and another larger fruit (not ready yet though) started to rot in the lower portion.  Something, probably squirrels, had also taken a few bites out of that one as well.  So I cut it from the vine and threw both into the compost pile.  It’s a bit disheartening since winter squash take so long to produce.

The tomatoes are almost done for the year – there are just a few tomatoes still on the plants waiting to turn red.  It was definitely a poor tomato year around here and it wasn’t just us, everyone had a bad field-grown tomato year in our area.  We canned only 10 pints of tomato sauce whereas most years we get over 20 pints put away.  And we haven’t eaten fresh tomatoes as often as we normally do.  Well, at least the workhorses of the garden are doing well – green beans, field peas, and butter beans are all producing well.

11 August Weekly Update

August 11, 2013
One garden pass

One garden pass

Garden goodness

Garden goodness

First bell pepper, eggplant, and more

First bell pepper, eggplant, and more

Another harvest

Another harvest

And yet again

And yet again

Another day

Another day

This week we picked:  blueberries; a small eggplant (finally!); Serrano, jalapeno, and cayenne peppers; the first bell pepper (an orange one); tomatoes; cucumbers; field peas; butter beans; tomatillos; three types of green beans; basil (for both drying and a caprese salad); all of the celery that was left in the garden; and all of the Spring planted carrots.  Our raspberries have also started to produce and we picked a small handful which we enjoyed in the garden upon picking, so no picture.

Blueberries

Blueberries

Basil

Basil

Washing carrots in the kitchen sink

Washing carrots in the kitchen sink

Trimmed carrots

Trimmed carrots

Last Sunday evening, we canned 5 pints of tomato sauce and 2 pints of green beans.  On Saturday, we canned an additional 3 pints of tomato sauce, 4 pints of green beans, and 2 pints of carrots.  We also made 5 quarts of our taqueria style pickled carrots, jalapenos, and onions (all from our garden!) – see the recipe list on the front page for the recipe.  These get stored in the refrigerator, not canned, although I suppose we could pressure can them…

The carrot box had some vole predation problems, especially in one part of it.  We’ll be laying down hardware cloth when we replace the boxes so hopefully we’ll have far fewer vole problems in future years.

Since some readers recently asked about the purple hull field peas, we went ahead and took a picture of some of the shelled peas:

Shelled purple hull field peas

Shelled purple hull field peas

On Thursday, we had wood delivered to do the first two new garden boxes.  These are the two boxes at the “bottom” of the garden (furthest from the house and lowest down the slope).  We decided to go with 4”x4” treated lumber (10 feet long) after much research and contemplation about using treated lumber and the feasibility of using other potential materials.  Given the layout of our property and the cost involved in replacing the existing boxes (not cheap for the number of boxes we have!), we decided that treated 4x4s would be our best choice.  Arsenic has not been used to treat lumber for several years (a copper-based solution is used now) and, frankly, we’re a bit dubious as to a) if leaching of the chemicals into the soil in any significant amount actually occurs, and b) if it does occur, whether it’s taken up by the plants in any type of significant amount.  It seemed like all garden box materials we researched had “someone” saying something negative about it (including concrete block leeching lime).

Two new boxes - bases set.

Two new boxes – bases set.

New box with hardware cloth

New box with hardware cloth

On Friday and Saturday, we cut the eight 6-foot lengths into 3-foot lengths (the width of the replacement boxes – which is about a foot wider than our existing boxes), drilled precise holes in all of the lumber so we could place them over rebar, and tilled the area the boxes will be placed so that we could more easily level them out.  On Sunday, we moved plenty of dirt in order to get the bases reasonably level, put down a double layer of weed fabric and a layer of hardware cloth (to hopefully stop voles!), and placed the wood base.  We’ll come back after work this week and stack the timbers 4 high over the rebar.  When we go to replace the large majority of boxes after the first frost, we’ll hire a person or two to help us so we can get it done in a reasonable amount of time (and with a bit less physical effort on our part…).  Five yards of compost is being delivered this upcoming Friday so, if all goes as planned, by the end of next weekend, the first two new boxes will be ready for Fall planting!

Celery!

Celery!

Butternut Rogosa Violina gioia Squash - a great tasting winter squash

Butternut Rogosa Violina gioia Squash – a great tasting winter squash

4 August Weekly Update

August 4, 2013
Summer Harvest Sample

Summer Harvest Sample

We got some “firsts of the season” this week:  purple hull field peas, a cayenne pepper, a habanero pepper, and a blackberry (which went straight from stem to mouth).  We also picked:  lettuce, celery, tomatoes, tomatillos, butter beans, cucumbers, basil, green beans, and a bit of mint that we put into some homemade tabbouleh.

No, this is not the same as the first picking

No, this is not the same as the first picking

Neither is this

Neither is this

Yet another pass

Yet another pass

We’re still picking the tomatoes early (e.g., not fully ripe) in the hopes of getting them before the squirrels do.  It’s apparent this isn’t going to be a very abundant tomato year so we’re trying to get as many as we can!  In times of abundance, I don’t mind sharing a few with the squirrels, but I get stingy when tomato times are tight.  On Saturday morning we were sitting at our computers on the sun porch and saw a squirrel run by outside with a green tomato in its mouth.  I was indignant!  Thieving, right in front of us!

None of the tomatoes had BER (Blossom End Rot) this year – we’re attributing this to our two sprayings of calcium-magnesium as a preventative measure.  We sprayed once when the first tomato fruit were starting to form and a second time two weeks later.  The quality of the tomatoes, especially the Amish Paste, is particularly good this year, although we don’t know why it’s so different.  In past years, many of the paste tomatoes would be a bit hollow inside (the flesh didn’t fill out the interior) but this year, they’re almost all filled out and very few have black spots inside.  We think fewer black spots might be because we have far fewer stink bugs this year than in the past.

Basil

Basil

The yellow summer squash plant was removed on Monday as it succumbed to SVBs.  We have only two patty pan plants left and I was thinking about pulling them up since they’re really not producing anymore and are looking kind of ragged, but I saw both have at least one female flower so I left them since we don’t need the space.

 Celery

Celery

We seeded the last area of cucumbers on Saturday morning.  If all goes well with the staggered planting plan, we’ll have cucumbers right up to the first frost.  We’ll see though since diseases are more prevalent at this time of year…

Lettuces

Lettuces

Lettuces in August!  Wow.

Black Peppermint

Black Peppermint

28 July Weekly Update

July 28, 2013
One day of harvests

One day of harvests

More!

More!

This week we picked:  tomatoes as they began to ripen to save them from the critters, cucumbers, celery, green beans, summer squash, butter beans, a few test carrots, a few tomatillos, jalapenos that went into canned salsa verde, and lots of basil (most of which went to appreciative co-workers).

Another day

Another day

Jalapenos for salsa verde

Jalapenos for salsa verde

Celery

Celery

Basil

Basil

Even More

Even More

Another bounty

Another bounty

We lost the last two zucchini plants to SVBs early in the week.  They weren’t producing so we’re not too  upset about it.  It would have been nice to get more than two fruits from three plants though!  Sunday morning was a great day weather-wise so she spent lots of time clearing away dead and dying foliage from the summer squash plants and tomatoes.  She also removed an area of cucumber vines that were being overtaken by one of the diseases cucumbers get in the South.  She picked the viable fruits from the vines before ripping them out – that’s why there are a few smaller cucumbers in one of the pictures.

Tabasco peppers

Tabasco peppers

More butter beans and cucumbers were seeded as were Fall carrots.  Encouraged by the lettuce success reported last week, we seeded more Slobolt lettuce in the porch box we put in the basement last weekend to cool down the soil a little.  We’re growing Fall carrots in only two small front yard boxes since they may end up needing to be overwintered.  This is far fewer carrots than we normally sow but since the main boxes are going to be torn out and re-done in the Fall, our Fall garden is going to be smaller than usual.

Summer squash plants after removal of dying leaves

Summer squash plants after removal of dying leaves

We also did some canning.  Green beans, summer squash bread & butter pickles, salsa verde, and the first two pints of tomato sauce were all put up this week.

Melon patch

Melon patch

Other tasks completed on Sunday included spraying various “crops” with copper fungicide and giving everything a fish emulsion shower.  Deer have been nibbling at some of our sweet potato and field pea vines so we need to pick up some deer repellent on Monday – our experience has been that it seems to help some as a deterrent.

Field pea pods

Field pea pods

Our redo of the garden boxes can now proceed whenever we’re ready as we had seven large trees cut down on Monday.  We don’t like cutting trees but the new plan necessitated it or some of the boxes would have been too shady.  We will soon be putting in the two boxes furthest from the house for Fall plantings.  The rest will have to wait until after the first frost because the new aisle spacing means we have to start at one end or the other and can’t replace any middle boxes until the existing boxes are removed.

Diseased cucumber vines before removal

Diseased cucumber vines before removal

Butternut squash

Butternut squash

21 July Weekly Update

July 21, 2013
Thievery of second ripe tomato

Thievery of second ripe tomato

Another round of thieving (and wastefulness)

Another round of thieving (and wastefulness)

More thievery happened this week.  The second ripe paste tomato also went to the squirrels who left the half-eaten evidence sitting in the garden aisle this time.  I decided to pick the three almost-ripe tomatoes and let them ripen inside as a preventative to more thieving.  But, alas, they stole a large green one the next day and left it mostly uneaten on the lawn.  I decided to wrap the ripening Early Girl in mesh to try to protect it!  I’m sure that the squirrels always steal a fair number of tomatoes each year but this year it’s particularly noticeable since tomato season isn’t so great in our region this year.

Summer squash refrigerator pickles

Summer squash refrigerator pickles

Harvest One

Harvest One

Picked early to save from thieves

Picked early to save from thieves

Salad lettuces

Salad lettuces

Cukes

Cukes

Canel russet yield

Canela russet yield

Blueberries

Blueberries

Another day

Another day

And more

And more

Just for a sandwich - lettuce

Just for a sandwich – lettuce

This week we picked:  three types of green beans, lots of cucumbers, plenty of patty pan summer squash, tomatillos, lettuce, the first butter beans, a small red banana pepper, three almost-ripe tomatoes, and a handful of blueberries.  We also dug the Canela russet potatoes which were the last of the potatoes still in the ground.  The Canela russet harvest was pretty disappointing.  I’m pretty sure we got fewer potatoes than the number of seed potatoes we planted!  I think voles got some of the seed potatoes early on and then left that box alone because there was no evidence of recent vole activity when I was digging.  But each plant tended to make one decent sized potato and one small potato – not great production but we know that russets aren’t very prolific in our area.  Hopefully the ones we did get will be uber-tasty.

As you can see from the harvest list, our front porch lettuce experiment has had a bit of success.  The “Slobolt” variety is growing OK and we cut some this week.  The other two varieties (Buttercrunch and a Salad Blend) aren’t doing as well, despite being labeled as heat resistent.  On Sunday, we decided to move one of the empty porch boxes into the basement to cool down the soil temperature for a week and next weekend we’ll seed more Slotbolt lettuce to germinate in the cooler temps of the basement before putting it out on the mostly-shaded front porch (it gets some indirect early morning and late afternoon sun, depending on which side of the porch we put the box).

We decided to seed Hakurei Turnips in one of the empty porch boxes early in the week and by the weekend, they were all germinated.  These are salad-type turnips with a milder flavor and different texture than the regular purple top turnips you see in most grocery stores.  We finally tried this type of turnip earlier this year (in a roasted vegetable medley, which is something we make fairly often) and decided we liked it.  So, of course we’re going to try to grow it.  I’m not expecting much from them in the porch box but decided to try it anyhow.  I’m expecting more from them in the Fall garden in the regular garden boxes!

We lost two of the summer squash plants – one patty pan and one zucchini – to SVBs this week.  The remaining plants all show signs of them so it’s just a matter of time now.  We’re not trying to intervene (by cutting out the borer) because the plants have slowed down at this point in the season and we have gotten plenty of squash this year.  The only exception to “plenty” being zucchini; we’ve gotten only two fruits from the three plants.  There was a small fruit on the plant that was removed but it wasn’t worth cutting.  It was the first viable fruit of that particular plant though.  For whatever reason, zucchini is not a big producer in our garden.

Butternut - trying to mature

Butternut – will *this* one make it to maturity?

The first round of cucumber plants are starting to be overtaken with the various diseases cucumber plants get in the South.  They’ll probably be around for just another week or two.  But as one type of “crop” stops producing, another starts.  Butter beans will soon be plentiful (we picked the first pods this week) and the earliest seeded field peas (Purple Hull) have started flowering so we’ll be getting field peas soon.

Apples wrapped in cheesecloth

Apples wrapped in cheesecloth

We started our Fall mustard and kales in the basement on Sunday.  We also wrapped the 13 apples on one of the apples trees in cheesecloth as a hopeful pilfering deterrent.  The last time we had apples (2 years ago due to a late freeze last year), deer ate every last one of them the day before we were going to pick them.  We’ve only ever gotten three apples from our four trees (one of which died last year) and it’s only been the one tree that has ever even produced an apple.  But we keep trying and will replace the dead tree in the Fall.

Eggplants maturing

Eggplants  – finally!!

We’d like to report that the one of us that has tried the summer squash refrigerator pickles we made last weekend (see picture above in harvest section) thinks they taste very similar to cucumber refrigerator pickles and deemed them edible, although the bread and butter style of summer squash pickle we canned last month are much better.  So we’ll be making more bread and butter style summer squash pickles very soon with all of those patty pan squash in the pictures.

Lastly, we had a wren make a nest again this year in one of our porch boxes and she successfully raised four young-uns (the same number as a couple of years ago) who flew the coop early in this week.  It’s weird how one day they’re just suddenly not there anymore.  When it happened two years ago, I thought something had eaten them but my internet searches showed that this is how wren fledglings go off into the big world – one day they’re just suddenly gone, all of them, regardless of whether one or two might be a day or two younger than the others.  No test flights, no “getting their feet wet”, just suddenly off and away.

Sweet potato vines

Sweet potato vines making their way down the aisle

Slobolt lettuce on the front (north side) porch

Slobolt lettuce on the front (north side) porch

El chaco peppers

El Chaco peppers

Early girl ripening

Early girl ripening

Cucumber on volunteer plant

Cucumber on volunteer plant

Cantaloupe melon

Cantaloupe melon

Running butternut vines

Running butternut vines

Bumper basil crop

Bumper basil crop


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