Little House on the Piedmont

On the vine

We’re feeling like we live in Little House on the Prairie this week, as we bought canning supplies, wide-mouth canning jars, and a small (16-qt) Presto Pressure Canner.

New Canner

Canned Green Beans!

Our first experiment today was 3 pints of haricot vert, and we’re surprisingly excited.  We are already developing a list of things to can, and gathering treasured recipes (like Peach Pickles!) from family.  Watermelon rind pickles, cucumber pickles, radish pickles, HOT pepper jelly, etc.  Next thing you know I’m going to seriously need a pickling crock and grape leaves.

The voles have been absent – no losses on our part, no vole sign or dead voles in traps.  Is this just a cease-fire, or have we won ….until next time?

Tomatoes 1

Tomatoes 3

Tomatoes 6

We are harvesting tomatoes and cucumbers and haricot vert and yellow summer squash daily.  I just haven’t been able to get myself worked up about weighing any of it so far, though I think about it sometimes.  There are really only two of us, and we measure our success more by what we end up buying (or the lack of) than what we are producing, since she keeps excellent records on what we buy as part of the budget process.

Ready to Eat

Little onions

Squash

New Potatoes

From now on we can harvest celery whenever we please, until we run out or the frost comes.

Celery box

Eggplants are blossoming, as are the Blue Lake green beans.  Dutch half-runners and butter beans are putting out tendrils.

Eggplant blossom

Blue Lakes

The sage, tarragon, and rosemary have completely restored themselves since the last harvesting, and the dill is out-growing my efforts to use it.  Basil is setting up nicely, and we have 2 different mints that I just mow back whenever we have to mow.

Sage

Basil

Potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers are still growing.  I am topping and suckering each tomato plant as it reaches 8’.  We got some new potatoes this week, and plan to harvest the rest of the box most affected by the voles, then replant organic russets, like we already replanted the organic Yukon golds, which are growing nicely.

Potatoes

Potatoes

Recent Yukon Golds

We have some really large cayenne peppers growing, as well as pimento, Serrano, anaheims (harvested 2 more this week), anchos, jalapenos (harvested 3 for another round of the muffins)…well we have a lot of peppers.

Peppers

The Japanese beetle season is here, and it is open season on them.  We have beetle bag traps up, and they’re filling nicely.  No significant damage from them yet except for a few apple trees leaves, so far.

Happy Cucumber

We had to pull up a box of cucumbers and zucchini, which is always frustrating and disappointing.  We replanted in another open box, and the plants are already leaping up.  We’re not sure, but we *think* they were hit hard by an unidentified (so far) brown bug that were all over them.  We squished them, and have been squishing any signs of them, and no replication of the problem yet.  If anyone had a clue about this vague problem, we’d be pleased to consider any theories.

Flower

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6 Responses to “Little House on the Piedmont”

  1. kitsapFG Says:

    I have tomato envy something fierce! Your comment about weighing harvests resonates for me as up until last year, I never bothered weighing my harvests except when I needed to weigh out the produce for a canning recipe. I started weighing last year and enjoyed seeing the info and think it will be good for evaluating the garden’s production – however, prior to that we just worried about having enough to keep us well fed 365 days a year.

  2. thyme2garden Says:

    I’m admiring your tomato trellises! The rest of your garden looks so neat and tidy, too. I know it takes time to get through the learning curve, but sometimes I wish I could just get there overnight. 🙂

  3. Thomas Says:

    Beautiful tomatoes! I would kill for some right now. Ours seem perpetually green.

  4. debiclegg Says:

    Wow! I am amazed at your garden. I really love how you have the tomatoes trellised. What are the benefits of “topping” your tomato plants at 8 feet?

  5. foodgardenkitchen Says:

    kitsapFG: Hugs! Naturally of course when she walked in from the garden last night, she was like “I want to weigh these tomatoes”, which turned out to be about 3 lbs worth.

    thyme2garden: Cattle panels for trellising are the answer. Somewhere in here in an earlier post I waxed poetic about their virtues. The garden is designed to make weeding as easy as possible while providing easy access to each box. I learn fastest by failing. If you read in some of the earlier posts this year, you will see that we did nearly everything wrong possible when we first started doing indoor seedlings, for example.
    Every growing season so far has taught both of us a lot.

    thomas: They will get there, hang on!

    debiclegg: Thanks for the compliment! I’m topping my tomato plants at 8′, because if I don’t they will grow 2 feet above the trellis then start to droop down to the ground again under their own weight. I think we had a 14′ vine last year, but the productivity of the plant tends to be mostly in the bottom 6′ or so, even for these prolific indeterminate tomatoes. I remove some of the later suckers as soon as they start in hopes of getting the plant to funnel more energy to fruit. I am however both lazy and disorganized about this enough that a number of them evade me without my caring that they do so.

  6. Daphne Says:

    Well I can guess that a brown bug that eats squash plants would be a squash bug. I’ve never had one in my garden that I know about, but I’ve certainly seen other complain about them and squish them. They look a lot like stink bugs to me.

    Your tomatoes look divine. Everyone seems to have their own way of growing them. When I moved to this house and planted tomatoes, my neighbor talked to me about how to prune them. I’m more of a cager and don’t like to cut off suckers early in the season. Later I do if I have the time, but not until the end of July.

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