15 July Weekly Update


Cucumbers, tomatoes, 3 types of green beans, cayenne and cherry bomb peppers, red pontiac and kennebec potatoes, all the rest of the carrots, a couple of squash, and the first eggplant of the season.

A round through the garden

Another round

Next day

Just a few tomatoes, this time



Yet another harvest

We dug enough potatoes to make a batch of potato salad (southern, cold, traditional) and mashed potatoes for a lamb shepherd’s pie (yummy dinner!)

Taters, precious

The oldest haricot vert plants have set their second flush of flowers and the newer box is starting to set its first flush. Additionally, the butter beans are starting to set pods, as well as the Monkey Tail field peas which were planted before the Running Conch field peas (all of which are pushing the boundaries of their boxes).

The tomatillos we’ve harvested thus far yielded a pint and a half of salsa verde. We also used our own jalapeno, cayenne, and cherry bomb peppers; onions; and garlic to make it. We chose to refrigerate this instead of can it, so we can use it soon. We also processed a counter top full of tomatoes into sauce as the tomatoes are producing nicely rightly now. This also got refrigerated, and we ate some this past week and will eat more this week.

We did a bitterness taste test on the cucumbers and drew the following conclusions (albeit using a small sample size): a mishapen cuc is more likely to be bitter, especially if it is a lot smaller at one end; the blossom end is more likely to be bitter. In fact, several of the cucumbers we tried were fine at the vine end but turned bitter half way down. These observations lead us to think this is a watering / weather issue.

On Monday night we finally got the rain we’ve been hoping for, a whole 1.5 inches. By Thursday am we’d had 3.5 inches.  Drought. Insects. Flood. Too Hot. Drought.  Too Cold. Flood. Farmers always have something to complain about, that’s for sure. And one of those things is:


We came home Tuesday to find the remains of a melon on the front walk, mostly just a few seeds left. Every other melon in the front was GONE! Except for this half-chewed remnant in one of the boxes. We have declared “death to the raiders!”, if we can only figure out who/what did it. I’m betting on the squirrels actually, but it is very possible that a possum or raccoon did it as well.

Seeds on a walk

Maimed and ravaged melon

A grieving and bereft melon plant

The yellow squash plants are on the verge of being removed; we got more fruits this week that didn’t make it than did.

We planted seedlings last week on Saturday, as we reported, and promptly forgot about them. By the time we looked at them Thursday morning, they had all germinated (very very quickly) and had started growing up in the dark and are now spindly. We immediately set up the light system so hopefully they’ll make it in the long run. Also, most of the blue lake bush beans we seeded on Saturday were up by Thursday as well. As were two of the three dutch crookneck squash seeds. And by Friday afternoon the 3rd one had come up.

This is a tomato box in July, unpruned.

Tomato Box

This is what the adjacent box looks like after spending over an hour pruning it, removing dead and dying foliage.

Pruned Tomato Box

On the vine


More peppers

Lemongrass (not a pepper!)

Peppers like edible ornaments


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18 Responses to “15 July Weekly Update”

  1. Norma Chang Says:

    I am so jealous of your carrots and tomatoes harvest. So sad about the melons, hope you find the culprit.
    Thanks for the cuke observations, I shall give this a try.

  2. jenny Says:

    WOW! that’s one wonderful harvest week you had! sorry to hear about melon raiders.

  3. Marcia Says:

    Lovely harvest and lovely garden!

  4. maryhysong Says:

    The rabbits and squirrels got my first cantaloupes; hoping they don’t find the monster I have growing now. Reminds me I need to buy rat traps, still have a lot of rats around and I want to get them before the weather cools off and they get under the house again. What a great and varied harvest you have. My large tomatoes have not really kicked in yet, maybe next month.

  5. kitsapFG Says:

    Big harvest of carrots this week. Is that the entire planting you pulled up or do you have more growing? The tomatoes are making me quite jealous. I am only getting a few small early tomatoes (Stupice and Silvery Fir Tree) and they will be all I will be getting for a while as the bigger tomato varieties are just now really setting fruit. Thanks for the reminder that I need to get out there and do some pruning particularly of the lower plant to clean up the bottom and improve air circulation and remove the diseased foliage.

    Sorry about the loss of the melons. Almost looks like a ground hog from the big teeth marks in the one remnant.

    Beautiful, big, and varied harvest (again) this week. Your garden is really impressive with the quantity, quality, and variety you get from it.

    • foodgardenkitchen Says:

      This was the last of the carrots. But we’ll be sowing our Fall crop soon.

      It’s funny, we covet what we have the hardest time growing! We can always count on tomatoes while you can always count on broccoli, which is hit-and-miss for us (we think due mostly to weather but it could just be our lack of skill…).

      • kitsapfg Says:

        Thanks for the answer to my question. And I agree, I also pine over my meager tomato harvests but they really are a function of where we now live and garden and I just need to make the most of what my regions growing climate can do for me.

  6. Dave's SFG Says:

    Really nice harvest. What are you going to do with all the carrots? I tried saving my melon by putting a plastic milk crate over it weighted with a large rock. Whatever it was was able to toss it aside and get the melon. Probably a big raccoon.

    • foodgardenkitchen Says:

      We’re eating the carrots. They keep for weeks in the ‘fridge so we’ll be eating a lot of carrots! It’s possible we can can some but with all the other canning we have to do, probably not. If only there was more time in the day…

      A few lucky co-workers also got to taste a couple of real carrots each 🙂

  7. crafty_cristy Says:

    Man, that’s rough about the melons. I am betting on coons or possums. 😦 The rest of it looks great.

  8. Dave Says:

    Too bad about the melons. I once had deer raid my melon patch, and what they didn’t eat they stomped on. There are so many critters that like what we grow!

    You have some great looking harvests there. The carrots are really looking good to me!

  9. Jill Says:

    Wow… that’s a magnificent harvest. Nice.

  10. Daphne Says:

    So sad about the melons. I’m betting it is something bigger than a squirrel if some disappeared entirely. I’ve had nasty attacks in the past and really hope to be safe behind my fence. But of course a fence can’t keep out a raccoon. And I saw raccoon tracks this spring in the yard. I have had my squirrels eat my cukes in the past. I used to be a crazy lady and run out shouting at them when I saw them. Luckily they haven’t found them yet this year.

  11. Rick Says:

    Wow everything is looking really good! So sorry to hear about the loss of your melons. We are lucky to not have many marauding animals in our area.

    The reason your cucumbers are small on one end is actually a pollination issue. When they are normal sized on one end and not on the other that means that not all the seeds (or baby seeds) were pollinated when a friendly bee visited the flower. I’m not sure if the lack of pollination is the cause of your bitterness. I’ve found in my garden that super hot temperatures or watering issues cause the bitterness.

    • foodgardenkitchen Says:

      Thanks for the info on the cucumbers! It crossed my mind that it could have been a pollination problem, but since they “mostly grew right”, I figured it was some other problem…

  12. Barbara Good Says:

    Wow so many carrots, too bad about the melons but the rest of the looks very impressive.

  13. Michelle Says:

    Whew, that is a bounty of veggies! Looks like you’ve got your work cut out in the kitchen now. Dang those melon raiding critters.

  14. Bee Girl (AKA Melissa) Says:

    Oh man…that sucks about your melons! I would be heartbroken! The rest of your harvests, though, are quite impressive! The volume of tomatoes and carrots is amazing!

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