Summer – 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

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