Early Summer 2016

We’ve been gardening away this month with lots of harvests and some frustration with deer.  We cut the last of the cauliflower and, likely, cabbages – there are still two small cabbages out in the garden but they’re likely to remain small at this point, we’ll see.  Lettuce, various greens, radishes, beets, turnips, and cilantro also ended earlier this month.  Friends and co-workers happily partook in the last of the lettuce harvest for the season.  We made a Mexican-style slaw a couple of times with many of the cabbages and cilantro.  Most of the greens were juiced and frozen for future addition to the green juices we make regularly.

Firsts also happened – notably the first cucumbers, haricots verts, and celery.  Today, we canned the first 5 pints of haricots verts for the season.  We’re growing far fewer of these beans this year since we still have plenty of canned beans from last year.

Our frustration with deer has been considerable as they’re the most likely culprits in some tomato damage we experienced.  They’ve also been nibbling on our field pea leaves and carrot tops (pulling up some of the small carrots in the process).  Some sort of critter (likely deer, given the tracks we saw) ate a few of the green tomatoes and left some intact ones on the ground.  We picked up the intact tomatoes and brought them inside to (hopefully) ripen on the counter.  So far, one has!  Does this count as the first tomato of the season???

first tomato

First tomato of the season??  It had to ripen on the counter.

We bought and sprayed deer repellant a couple of times out of desperation.  This has got to be the most putrid smelling product on earth!  I know it would keep me out of the garden!

Yesterday, we dug up almost all of the Yukon Gold potatoes and used some of them to make a delicious potato salad that included some of our own celery.  The remainder of the Yukon Golds are curing in the basement.  We still have Kennebecs and Red Pontiacs growing in the garden but they haven’t died back much yet so they’re likely two weeks or so out from being dug up.

We’ve been pulling up the “Candy” onions as the tops fall over and they’re currently curing under cover.  This year’s Candy onions are the largest we’ve been able to grow – some are even a respectable size!  We don’t know what was different this year since we grew them exactly the same as we’ve done in past years…

The Yellow Granex onions fell over much earlier than the Candy variety and they’ve been cured and clipped for at least two weeks now.  We made a yummy onion soup with some of the Yellow Granex onions.  Later today we’ll process the remaining Yellow Granex onions along with the Candy variety that are already cured by chopping them in the food processor and freezing them for future use.

We spend most weekend mornings in the garden tending and harvesting – it’s nice to get out before it gets too hot!  Japanese beetle season also started about 2 weeks ago which means that every morning before work, she’s outside shaking beetles into a bucket filled with a couple of inches of water before disposing of the beetles in a plastic bag.  It’s amazing how many beetles are on our fruit trees and berry canes every morning!  We have about 4 more weeks of Japanese beetle season.  It can’t end soon enough!

In our last post, we mentioned that we expected our first summer squash very soon.  That didn’t happen as the first fruits were not pollinated and they shriveled once they got to be about 3 inches long.  We still haven’t gotten any summer squash but the first patty pan squash is really almost ready.

Happy gardening until next time!

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2 Responses to “Early Summer 2016”

  1. Dave @ OurHappyAcres Says:

    I feel your pain with the deer problems. They eat my tomato vines all the time, though they usually can’t get to the tomatoes in the cages. And I would count that tomato as a first! Still waiting on my first here, but I have a couple that are turning. You have lots of goodies coming in from your garden now!

  2. Margaret Says:

    Wow – you have had some great harvests! Like Dave, I would definitely count that tomato as the first one…so long as you can eat it, you can count it as far as I’m concerned 🙂

    We battle Japanese beetles every year as well – they haven’t shown up yet, but I’m on the lookout.

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