Archive for the ‘Seedlings’ Category

Weekly Garden Update: March 6th

March 6, 2011

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant”

Daffodils in the Rain

A Lettuce Harvest!

This week we thinned the overwintered lettuces that have begun growing again.  We got a nice harvest of various baby lettuces, mizuna, and mache.  It was only a few months ago that we were so glad to see the last of the Fall lettuce used up but now we’re ready for salads again!  I suppose that’s one of the benefits of eating seasonally – once you get tired of something, the season is over and you move on to something different.

Lettuces

The tomato and pepper seeds we started last weekend have slowly begun to sprout under the grow lights and the celery and cabbage seedlings continue to do well.

The kale, mustard, lettuce, radishes, and spinach we direct sowed three weeks ago finally began to sprout this past week.  We were starting to get concerned but it may have just been that the wildly fluctuating temperatures of early spring weren’t conducive to seed sprouting.

Taters, precious.

Yesterday, we direct seeded more kale, carrots, callaloo, and mustard.  We also did some general garden cleanup and removed the season extension covers and supports from most of the beds that had them.  Earlier in the week we purchased our seed potatoes (Red Pontiacs and Kennebecs) from the local garden center and set them in the sunroom to begin chitting.  We are planning to plant them out in the garden on the 20th (the first day of Spring!)

We also have Cilantro, Oregano, and Lettuces that have survived the winter in the porch rail boxes.

Lettuces

Cilantro

It’s good to have the garden waking up from the winter season!

I went Quail hunting this week with my father, and brought home plenty for the freezer.  Next week’s menu will include Quail Stew, a recipe I was told by a delightful lady at the Quail farm.  Expect the recipe to be posted here subsequently, hopefully with lots of nice pictures.  It is a variation on the old coastal Oyster Stew recipe I learned as a young man.

Weekly Garden Update 2/13/2011

February 13, 2011

Today was the type of pre-Spring day that beckons you to the outdoors and tempts you to start planting.  We tried to hold out on much planting, knowing that weather is unpredictable but the favorable 10-day weather forecast on weather.com caused us to give in.

 

Mustard Box

We uncovered all of the covered boxes so they could bask in the sunshine today and gave everything a good, long drink.  We cleared out the mustard plants that obviously weren’t going to make it.  Three of the Southern Giant Curled Mustard had put out new growth with the better weather we’ve had lately so they received a reprieve from being ripped out.  In the box, we planted Chinese Mustard Greens from http://nycgardening.blogspot.com/, two types of kale from http://cordarogarden.blogspot.com/, and more Southern Giant Curled Mustard.

 

 

Spinach Box

Three spinach plants survived the over-wintering so we planted a few more Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach to hopefully have a few more plants.  We also planted French Heirloom Breakfast radishes from http://nycgardening.blogspot.com/ in this box.

 

 

Carrot Box

One of our boxes had become overrun with a creeping weed so we pulled out the weeds, trying not to damage the carrots that had been overrun.  Since relatively few carrots were able to out-compete the weed, we planted Shin Kuroda Carrot seeds from http://sweetpeahill.blogspot.com/ here and some butter crunch lettuce seeds.

 

 

Mache Box

 

 

Lettuce Box

Our over-wintered leaf lettuces and mache are doing pretty well.  We cleared away the leaves from around the plants to help everything breathe a bit more.  Hopefully the leaves weren’t an integral part of the lettuce’s survival!

 

 

Brussels Sprouts

Cabbage

Broccoli

Cauliflower

More Cauliflower

Various over-wintered brassica seem to have made it.  We’ll see if they actually produce anything.  Of these plants, the broccoli seem the least likely to produce something, but time will tell.  Over-wintered brassicas include brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and one cabbage that survived the voles.  We also started more cabbages indoors this week.

 

The over-wintered kales are doing well enough that we could have harvested some this week, but we put together the week’s menu on Friday (for Saturday shopping) and didn’t realize they were chuggin’ away under the row cover as well as they are.  We know we have harvestable carrots as well, but they’re not part of this week’s menu either.  We’ve been eating a lot of our canned foods from last year’s harvests (tomato sauce, green beans, haricots vert), another butternut squash this week, and the frozen pesto has made an appearance in several lunches lately.

Waiting for Spring with excited anticipation!

Weekly Garden Update: 2/6/2011

February 6, 2011

Gardening season begins in earnest.  Our onions and other seeds which we discussed in the last update are germinating.

Seedlings

Onions

We were a bit slow in seeing that the broccoli and cauliflower was up and growing so they were in the dark a couple of days more then they should have been which has made them a bit leggy.  Hopefully that will be fixed as they’re now growing under lights.  We also germinated our snow peas and our sugar snap peas inside this year, and today we planted them all in two boxes.  We decided to do this because the soil temps (as they were last year) are too low to germinate them, but not too low to allow them to grow (we hope).

Pea Peas

In the pan

Today we seeded the celery.

Celery

I cooked venison steaks this past week, attached the recipe in a post just prior to this one.  Last night we had the smothered quail again, and it was great.  No I mean it was *GRREAT*.

The Kale seems to have survived the winter, as have bizarrely, the lettuces.  We have carrots still.  The Garlic is sprouting up through the mulch all over, and seem to be saying, “Ok, Winter did it’s thing, now let the Spring come in Early”.

February Garden

February Garden

Box for Peas

Carrots

Lettuces

Kale

Garlic!

Weekly Update: 1/30/11

January 30, 2011

Weekly Update:  1/30/2011

Planting time has started.

 

Yesterday we (once again) removed covers from some of our boxes since we have a few days of weather averaging above freezing.

 

Voles continue to be a periodic problem.  Other than saturation bombing our garden I’m not sure there is a way to get rid of all of them.

 

*Something* chewed through the plastic fencing to get into a box that has nothing planted in it.  Then it dug around in a wide shallow area.  We have no idea what possessed whatever critter it was.

 

We also cleaned the seed germination area and got everything ready for today.  We’re planting yellow granex onions, dawn giant leeks, and what might be our last effort at broccoli and cauliflower, three varieties of the broccoli and two of the cauliflower.  We’ve not had much luck with them the past several years, and if we don’t get some production this year we’ll probably just reassign the garden space to something that does produce.

 

We have been doing mung bean sprouts for over a year now, when the fit hits us.  We like them in salads, particularly.  We recently purchased a mason jar sprouting lid so that we can do smaller seeds, and picked up a sprout mixture at the same time consisting of alfalfa, radish, mung bean, lentil, and broccoli.  Grabbed one of our quart canning jars, and now we’re off to the races.

 

We’ve been enjoying the fruits of our canning efforts from this summer.  Pepper jelly, pickles (cucumbers), pickled jalapenos, green beans, tomato sauce, and other products.  So far the feedback from our Christmas gifts of pepper jelly and watermelon rind pickles has been very positive.

 

My father gifted me with venison and quail and wild ducks recently.  Last night I cooked duck breasts, and tomorrow I’m doing some venison steaks.  I’ll attach the recipe for the duck breasts in the recipe section, they were delicious.  For the other of us, it was the first time she’d had wild duck, so I’m pleased they came out.

 

 

2011 Garden Beginnings!

January 2, 2011

For our weekly update this week, we have the beginnings of our 2011 Garden plantings, and a Seed Exchange!

Seeds!

We spent part of the week planning out what (and how many) plants we need to start in the basement to be transplanted out in the Spring.  We’re expanding the garden a bit this year to the front yard to grow melons and winter squash where they can spread out and not be in the way.  Doing so opens up some of the main garden’s boxes for more PEPPERS.  We figure we have room for 86 pepper plants at the dense planting we tried this year (and it worked out great).  We have 16 different varieties we’re going to try to grow next year (some are even home-saved seed!).  The first number in the list below is the number of plants of each variety we hope to end up with; the second number is the number of plants we’ll start in order to (hopefully) end up with the desired number:

HOT Peppers:

Tabasco:  2, 3

Habanero:  5, 7

Ancho:  7, 9

Thai Hot:  1, 2

Cayenne:  5, 7

Jalapeno:  6, 8

Serrano:  4, 6

El Chaco:  2, 4

SWEET Peppers:

Cherry:  5, 7

Anaheim:  7, 9

Pimento:  3, 5

Yellow Pimento:  3, 5

CA Wonder:  11, 14

Red Marconi:  8, 10

Yolo Wonder:  9, 11

Italian Relleno:  8, 10

We’re cutting back on tomato varieties this year to only four (2 paste, 2 slicing) plus tomatillos.  We’ll be planting (and starting):

Better Boy:  9, 12

Early Girl:  5, 8

Amish Paste:  5, 8

Roma (seed gotten from Mimi):  5, 8

Tomatillos:  3, 5

Tomatoes/tomatillos will take up 3 boxes, as they did last year and we thought we had a good amount for eating, canning, and sharing.

Maters

In other plants, we had way too much celery last year, even though we lost a number of plants to voles.  But we had so much we actually sold some to a local specialty store.  Next season, we hope to have 25 celery plants and we’ll start 32; all one variety this year (Tendercrisp) – it’s our first time growing this variety so hopefully we’ll be successful!

Eggplant:  we lost all of our eggplant seedlings to the voles last year and had to plant store-bought seedlings.  Four plants survived the voles and we thought this gave us a reasonable number of eggplants through the growing season (basically, 1 per week).  We’re aiming for 4 eggplant plants again next year so we’ll start 8 since we have trouble getting eggplant to germinate well.

Onions:  this year we’ve finally figured out which onions grow in our area!  (Maybe we’re a bit slow…).  We’re growing Yellow Granex from seed.  We’re going to start half of the seed inside and direct sow the other half to see which methods works the best for us.  We may also pick up some Candy onion seeds from Southern States if we decide we need more than one seed pack.

Broccoli and cauliflower:  we’ll try again but this may be the last time we do so.  We do not have good luck growing either of these vegetables to maturity, regardless of whether it’s Spring or Fall.  But we will start two varieties of cauliflower (8 of each, hopefully to end up with 6 of each) and three varieties of broccoli (7 of each, hopefully to end up with 5 of each).

Summer squash:  we normally do not have room under the seed starting lights to start them early but we’re going to make room this year.  The plants germinate so easily when direct sowed but the squash bugs pose such a problem here in NC that the plants die long before they’re even thinking about giving up.  We want to plant transplants this year to give them a bit of a head start on squash bugs and hopefully get a bit more production.

Winter squash:  we may direct seed the butternut varieties since they seem to have a bit of resistance to squash bugs but the acorn squash we want to grow needs an early start indoors if we hope to get any fruit before the plants succumb to bugs.  We also ordered some “Lakota” seeds from Burpee and will likely start those indoors as well.

It’s looking like we may need to expand the indoor seed starting operation!  Maybe I’ll go down to the basement soon and figure out what we can do…

More Seeds!

SEED GIVEAWAY/TRADE

We’ve culled the seed collection and decided what we’ll be growing next year so we have the following seeds to either just give away if you need seeds but don’t have any to trade or to trade for seeds we’d like to get.

Seeds we’d like to get:

Kales

Mustards

Carrots

Lettuces

French Breakfast radishes

something you have that you think is particularly worthy

Seeds to give away/trade:

Old Dutch Half-Runner Beans (a great, tasty, prolific green bean that we’ve grown for 3 years and will continue to grow but we have too many seeds.  Stringless when young.  Although a 1/2 runner, it grows to 8 feet in our garden).

Heirloom Iceberg Lettuce (iceberg lettuce can be hard to get to germinate)

Parisian Carrot (small-ish round carrots)

Green Zebra Tomato

Greek Basil

White Sweet Spanish Onion (long day)

Walla Walla Onion (long day)

Bianca di Maggio onion

Ruby Queen beet

Chioggia beet

Plum Purple Radish

Watermelon radish

Chinese Red Meat radish

Chinese Green Luobo radish

Black Spanish radish

Japanese Minowase Daikon radish

Baby eggplant

Russian Tarragon

Utah Celery

Beefsteak Tomato

Bloody Butcher

San Marzano Tomato

Send us an e-mail: foodgardenkitchen at gmail dot com if you’re interested.

9/5 Weekly Garden Update

September 5, 2010

Green beans

We are now clearly into late season garden phases here.  No rain for at least the past couple weeks (Earl notwithstanding) and there is none forecast for the next 10 days either.

Garden 1

Garden 2

The cursed deer ate my 6 apples on the other apple tree that was producing this year.  I would curse them less had I had a chance to have eaten just one from it.  They also stripped the tips of several limbs of leaves.

Garden 3

Garden 4

We have begun ripping out a few tomato vines, all the blue lake bush beans, and we plan to continue as items stop producing.

Garden 5

However we’re still getting harvests of cucumbers, tomatoes, Dutch half-runner green beans, field peas, butter beans, and all kinds of peppers.  I have enough picked anchos now to dry, and they should make the base of a nice chili powder.

Anchos, etc.

Melons, etc.

Charentais

We got 2 charentais melons, and 1 moon & stars watermelon.  We have more ripening of both.  The butternut squash is now putting more of its efforts into making little squashes, if it continues at this rate and we are able to harvest all of them we might get as many as 20 to store in the basement and eat throughout the winter.

Field peas & Eggplant

We’re still putting up green beans.  The last time I canned them, I had a rare occurrence, i.e., a jar that didn’t seal.  We warmed them up in the microwave and they were really really good, clearly the next best thing ever to having them fresh from being picked.  They beat the dickens out of the blanched and frozen ones we did last year.

Bucket o' Harvest

One day's pickins'

Voles are seeking to make inroads.  I keep trying to poison them as fast as they show new tunnels.  Sammie Squirrels are stealing tomatoes and running off to the woods with them, little orang- red blobs in their mouths.  Deer are starting to nibble on our green bean vines.  I seriously contemplate building a deer blind on my porch so that I can have some nice venison tenderloins, squirrel stew & barbecued squirrel.

Peppers

Sage

Mustard and kale seedlings are doing well!  Cabbages, broccoli and other brassicas are coming along.  The lettuce and carrots could not stand the heat and the desiccation we are currently having and will have to be replanted.

Seedlings

Seedlings 2

We put up another cover on a box.  This morning it was 67 degrees outside, fall is peeking over the horizon of Labor Day.

Irrepressible Basil

Squash & Melon plants

Parsley

Lettuce in a Box

Well that’s all for now!

Weekly Garden Update

August 29, 2010

Beans & Peas

Harvest 3

The usual harvest is ticking along nicely.  We got lots of field peas and butter beans, and green beans and tomatoes and some cucumbers!, and peppers and tomatillos, and whatnot.

Harvest 1

Harvest 4

We filled in replanting in areas where seeds did not germinate, for stuff for the fall plantings.

After a month of no sign, suddenly voles have reappeared.  We are attempting to squash them early this time.

Potato Box

Other potato box

We were concerned about the voles getting in amongst the potatoes, so we went ahead and harvested them.  Overall, it was a failed experiment.  The russets (which we had planted from commercial grocery store organic potatoes) only produced 2 potatoes out of 16 plants, so we had a net loss of 6 potatoes.  The Yukon golds produced a nice little bucket of new potatoes, enough for a big meal, but none of them were much larger than my thumbs.  They just didn’t make.  Research into this, including at the NCSU labs, tells us that you’re not going to get potatoes from plants put in the ground after May 1st around here, though they differ on *why*.

I learned as a child that you plant your potatoes at the dark of the moon in March, and no other time.  It is interesting to me that in 2010 we don’t have anything more than theories as to why this does work, but I believe it.

Volunteers

We got some volunteer tomatoes this week, and they’re in much better condition than the other tomato plants, since they haven’t been around as long.

Eggplants

We’re gonna have yet another eggplant this week, and we’re very happy with this continuing slow steady production.

I’m using up some of the continuing pepper harvest in making my “chili red” today.  Also, I dried a couple sheets of cayenne and Serrano peppers, and ground them up into powder.

We ate THE APPLE, with a cheese and cracker plate.  It was fabulous, and I was delighted to discover that it is a very similar apple to one of the types that used to grow on my grandfather’s farm that I never knew the name of.

Basket o' Basil

Last night we made pesto out of this huge basket of basil.  The recipe is attached to the recipe list on the main page, the big variations being using walnuts, and that we froze the pesto in muffin tins (one of the pictures there in the recipe looks like chunks of alfalfa-fed donkey droppings, I’m afraid, but there you go).

We Cover Da World

The butternut squash and melon plants continue to spread; the butternut now covers a depth of almost 4 rows, and has a great number of little butternuts on it, so we are cheering it on.  If the raccoon doesn’t get it, we’re gonna harvest a moon & stars watermelon in the next day or so.

Melons

Big Butternut

Peppers just keep on trucking, and I’m having fun with them.  We pulled up the El Chaco pepper plants, they just never did anything this year, though last year we had a bumper crop.  Who can say what motivates this kind of growth, or lack thereof.  We have lots of anchos, bells, and those little Tabasco peppers that are so cute to look at, all growing upward toward the Sun.

Bell

Tabasco

Anchos

Small butternut

The kaolin clay we sprayed does appear to be at least somewhat effective, though we want more testing to figure out how much.

Lastly, we don’t understand the lack of tomatillos.  Lots of little paper lanterns, but few of them ever actually finish making.  They seem to rot or something, any advice would be welcome.

Weekly Garden Update: August 8th

August 8, 2010

Wow, it’s August already!

In addition to the seedlings we’ve been developing, we did more fall planting yesterday:  Cabbage seeds were started inside, but we direct seeded a box of Cauliflower and Broccoli, and a box comprised of Chinese Mustard, Ruby Red Swiss Chard, and Southern Giant Curled Mustard.

The Chinese Mustard is courtesy of http://nycgardening.blogspot.com/.  Thanks!

Our Yukon Gold potatoes are flowering, perhaps we can harvest them by September.

Potato Flower

We harvested the last set of beans from the Haricot Vert, and pulled them up, thanking them all the while.  We got over 7 weeks of incredible production from these green beans, and are thrilled.  The dutch half-runner beans are hitting a production peak, and the blue lakes continue to give us a handful or so every week.  Hopefully I can put up some more beans soon.

Haricot Vert box

Tomatoes have slacked off a bit, but we still got half a box this weekend after I pulled everything red and did more tomato sauce this past Monday.

Boxes 1

Boxes 2

Boxes 3

Peppers continue to roll in.  We are getting red Marconi peppers now, and some of our jalapenos are turning red as well.  The only peppers not doing well are the El Chaco’s, which did superbly last year (helpless shrug).  Here are some Serranos.

Serranos

Butternut squash are getting female blossoms, and the second succession of cucumbers and squash seem to be doing well so far (keeping fingers crossed).

Butternut Blossom

We got 6 cups of Kaolin clay powder this week from our biodynamic farmer and we plant to spray it this week, if it will ever stop raining every other day.

Basil in Harvest Basket

Basil in Box

BASIL.  Yes, the BASIL is coming at us with a vengeance.  We made pesto yesterday, and have 2 trays to dry, and dried basil in the drawer, and oodles more in the garden.  We’re thinking of ramping down to half a dozen basil plants, or even less, next year.

The weather has been almost daily thunderstorms (which our dog hates), with 0 to 0.25 inches of rain almost every day.  Thank goodness it didn’t rain yesterday, and I was able to start mowing the hated grass.  I also mowed back our Kentucky Colonel mint.  The lime mint I planted last year has propagated this year an amazing amount, but I’m about to pull it all up and plant something else.  It tastes nothing like mint or lime, and it’s had plenty of time to develop, flower, or whatever else it wanted to do.  I felt like an idiot standing there chewing nasty leaves from several plants, for all the world like a Koala.

Harvest!

We harvested another eggplant along with all the other stuff this week.  We cooked the one we got last week.  I sliced it thin, salted it and let it sit for a couple of hours, washed the salt off, and dipped each one into milk, then into a cornmeal and bread crumb mix seasoned with sweet paprika, black pepper, dill, ground parmesan, and ground romano.  Then I cooked them in ¼ cup of olive oil spread out over my 16” skillet.  They were yummy, and we spooned our own tomato sauce over them on the plate right before eating.  I’ll probably do something similar this week.

Charentais Melon

Last, but not least, we harvest a charentais melon.  We are very excited, we just hope it’s ripe!

Green Beans!

Butternut

Field Peas

Cucumbers blooming

Butter beans

July 18 Weekly Garden Update:

July 18, 2010

Inspired by the excellent post on composting 101 by Engineered Garden, I decided to include a blurb on our own composting set up.

I’m going to try not to repeat anything he said.  There are a variety of compost piles you can make, and not all of them need to be “efficient”, if you don’t need them to be.   I’ll even go so far as to say that when it comes to composting we are downright lazy.

Hardwire cloth compost

First I cut a length of 4’ hardware cloth fencing, and wired it into a circle.  Put that on the ground at the edge of the woods.  We fill this with grass cuttings, leaves, leafy branches, dead lawn and forest stuff, and rip-outs of pea vines, etc.  We never turn it, but it still cuts its own volume in half every 3rd of a year or so and I just keep packing stuff on top.

Earth Machina

We got an “earth machine” plastic composter from our county services cheap.  The thing itself was made of recycled this and that.  It has a little door at the bottom and a twist off lid on the top.  Dump kitchen compost garbage, and/or other dead or dying things whenever you please.  Shovel compost out of the bottom door.   We mostly use this as overflow for the worm farm now.

Early Picture of the Wormfarm

I built us a worm farm out of concrete blocks and a plywood sheet.   We are on very hard clay here in the piedmont of North Carolina, so I just dug a wee bit down to level the site and then I placed the concrete blocks in a rectangle the size I wanted it.  Our friendly county worm-farmer has something like this about 100’ long – we decided we’d start smaller (laughs).  You can feed the worms all the kitchen compostable stuff, wet newspaper, cardboard, leaf and grass cuttings – whatever you have.  They don’t like too much citrus, but they love your coffee grounds.  You never have to worry about ratios, they do all the work, and you don’t need one of those multi-level fruit-fly generators in your kitchen either.  I hinged the plywood lid in the middle so that I can open either half, and when one half gets full we dump stuff in the other half for a few months.  About once a quarter she harvests parts of it that are ready, checks on the worms, and that’s it.  If you want more volume of compost you can put in more worms, make it deeper or cover more area.  There is no mortar and the blocks are loosely jointed – it has plenty of ventilation and drainage.  The only thing I’d like to do at this point is paint the cover so it looks nice and lasts longer.  We get enough compost at this point to feed  our boxes, and that’s all we really need.

HARVEST update –

Haricot Verts

This week we were engulfed by haricot verts, and I canned 5 pints of same while we ate others.  I canned 6 pints of tomato sauce and we are eating tomatoes daily.  We got more cucumbers, in fact I’m in the process of canning 4 more pints of pickles at this moment.  Yellow squash, anaheims, Italian sweet rellenos, cayennes, jalapenos are plentiful.

More harvest

We have pimentos, bell peppers, and several others making rapidly now.  And we have an actual purple eggplant – something that evaded us last year.

Cayennes

Pimento

Bell

There is a charentais melon growing along with our moon and starts watermelons.

Melons

Melons

The kennebecs are definitely ready to harvest now, and the new Yukon golds and russests are springing up nicely.

Yukons

New russets

Our seedlings in the basement germinated this week and are happy under their lights – fall broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

We sprayed fish emulsion this morning.

Blue Lakes

The blue lakes and the dutch half-runner beans are making — we should be harvesting both this week.

This week we lost our 2 zucchini plants and the rest of our acorn squash plants.  One of our farmer friends told us that he starts his squash early inside, then sets them out by April 20th in order to get production before the plants are gone, so we will try this next year.  And we’ll be picking up that kaolin clay this next week and will report on results when we have them.

Eggplant!

As I write this it is 94 degrees and 98% humidity outside.  We’ve gotten enough thunder storms in the past couple of weeks to keep us from having to irrigate from the well, which is very nice.

Field Peas

Weekly Garden Update: May 30th

May 30, 2010

Weekly Garden Update:  May 30th

Episode V:  The Voles Strike Back

Voles got 4-6 more potato stalks this week, 4 more celery plants, and forced us to harvest carrots which could have used more time, but which were being decimated.  We shall not give up the fight.  There is no try, do or do not.

We harvested 9 18” long tarragon stalks today, and they are currently drying on a cookie sheet in a 175 degree oven.

Tarragon

Yesterday we harvested fresh dill, and we have more we can grab whenever we need it.

Dill

We have been harvesting garlic scapes as they get ready, and I’ll be posting a brief “things to do with garlic scapes” just before this update, so there will be a link here.  Also we have started testing some of the garlic bulbs and are beginning to cure them.

Curing Garlic

Snow peas have been coming in faster than we can eat them for some time now, so we are eating raw snow peas in salads, lightly steamed snow peas as sides, and snow peas in nearly all the dishes in which we put mixed veggies.  We are freezing a lot of them as well.  It is looking like they are slowing down however, as there are few new blooms, so maybe the snow pea harvest is coming to an end.

Tomatoes

The strawberry season in central northern NC came to an abrupt halt, as no one at 3 farmers’ markets I know of had any this week, and the pick-your-own place across the street from us has closed for the season.  One farmer speculated that it was the lack of rain followed by 4 inches in one week followed by increasing temperatures that caused the strawberries to close up shop and return to fairy-strawberry-land so quickly (“…And the little streams of alcohol come a-trickling down the rocks…”).

Tomatoes!

Tomatoes

There are over 50 tomatoes on the vines!  Long oblong ones, small spheroid ones, clusters of them, and blooms blooms blooms are all toot-tootin’ along.

Celery

Celery that isn’t being attacked by voles is doing very well.  In fact, we were able to rescue some of the stalks of the ones that had their roots eaten by voles, and I used fresh celery in the clam chowder I made up last night.  From now until the end of the season we have celery that can be harvested at will (at least those the voles don’t get).  We still have over 36 stalks going, so hopefully we’ll still be harvesting celery at Thanksgiving.

Peppers

We replanted eggplants and peppers this week, and transplanted basil and cilantro we have been growing in containers inside.  We have oregano, rosemary, and lemongrass to be harvested at will.  We harvested another whole row of lettuces this week, lettuce production is finally petering off, though we have some new mesclun mix which is coming up nicely.

Squash

Cucumbers starting Tendrils

Garlic