Archive for the ‘Seeds’ 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.

Weekly Garden Update: October 3rd

October 3, 2010

We had almost 7 inches of rain in the past 7 days.  Yes the ground is wet, but the previous 7 weeks of no rain has allowed the ground to quickly absorb nearly all the surface wet.  We needed it.

Serranos

Another watermelon from last week wasn’t ripe again.  We don’t know why, but it’s a tad disappointing to cut it open and find greenish-white-pink interior on a melon whose stem died.  We have one more good hope for a ripe watermelon from this crop.

Watermelon

Squash

We harvested some butternuts; these are all the volunteer ones.  Between the volunteer tomatoes, cucumbers, and butternuts we have gotten a decent harvest out of seeds that apparently survived the worm farm and got mixed into the soil.

Volunteers of America

We cut up and ate the first butternut-type squash that we had that big picture of about 3 weeks ago.  It is a lovely color, almost like cheddar cheese when cut into a slab.  We roasted some of it in the oven the first night and the flavor is amazing, I can’t remember when I had a better squash.  I was worried that I’m gonna get tired of squash pretty quick, but not with taste like this.

Big squash

We’re putting the rest of it in a crock pot stew today, with locally-raised, pastured, sustainably-farmed, antibiotic and hormone free, humanely slaughtered stew beef, and our own peppers.  Yeah.  The last time we made this it was really good, and I have high hopes for this one as well.

Peppers are really a bounty crop this year.  I’m making another batch of Swamp Mud Hot Pepper Jelly this week, and I’m going to make a milder batch with just jalapenos, cayennes, anchos, and sweet peppers in hopes that we can give some to folks who like their pepper jelly a wee bit less hot than napalm.

We’re still getting a dribble of green beans, though I think they’re finally starting to give out.  We have some green tomatoes still, and we harvested field peas and butter beans again this week.

Some of the harvest

A lot of the herbs recovered quickly this week with the rain; the sage, tarragon, rosemary, and oregano all have new life.  The basil has apparently mutated into something that thrives on all environments and can consume all matter, it just won’t quit.

Parsley

Parsley

We’re going to harvest more greens this week, mostly mustard, and braise them again.  It’s nice to have some of the fall crops starting to kick off.  More planting today, with lettuce, cilantro, and getting the garlic boxes ready.

October will be garlic month!  We had such a great harvest this year of garlic that we are able to plant from that, and won’t need to order any more.  This brings up something that occurs to us frequently.  Now that we are growing so much on our own, not only have we quit buying much from the conventional grocery stores, but we have needed very little from our local produce farmers this year, and this summer we barely bought anything from the farmer’s markets because we had it ourselves.  We’re saving lots of seeds from things that did well, and therefore our seed purchases as of this year will be reduced as well.  If everyone tore up their grass yards, and planted produce and orchard plantings, how much would it end up affecting local farmers?  How hard would it hit the major agri-business producers?  I’m thinking a lot – in both cases.  I haven’t noticed any of our 10 neighbors cutting down trees and planting over their yards, even with our “good” example to follow, so this probably isn’t happening anytime soon.

Here is a picture of the Chinese mustard growing from seeds we got from meemsnyc .  We look forward to doing more seed exchanges with folks, if you want to be involved, email us at foodgardenkitchen@gmail.com.

Chinese Mustard

Garden 3

Garden 2

Garden 1

Weekly Garden Update: August 15

August 15, 2010

Today the post is late, because we got up this morning, and after coffee and an egg-white frittata with dill, cheddar, country ham, sweet sautéed peppers, and some leftover cornflake chicken (served on English muffin), we went out to the garden and started the Fall planting.

We just cut into the Charentais melon, and wow it is delicious.  It is sweet and has an excellent flavor, and the flesh is firm and crisp!

Covered Box

We put in cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, Red Winter Kale, and Italian Lacinato Nero Toscana Kale.  We set up the piping, and covered 3 boxes with ground cover to protect new seeds coming up.  This Wednesday we already had seeds coming up from our plantings last weekend.

Boxes 2

Boxes 1

Boxes 3

The Tabasco peppers are finally coming in, and we have bunches of little pimentos as well.  The jalapenos and serranos look like they’ll never quit; I plan to make whole pickled Jalapenos this week.  Later I’ll probably dry some serranos and cayennes and make powders out of them.

Tabascos

Pimentos

We have plenty of other peppers as well; ancho, bell, Anaheim, and Italian rellenos, as well as some Italian red marconis.

Peppers

Ancho

Harvest

We got 4 cucumbers this week, and are pleased by the progress of the 2nd succession of cucumbers.

Volunteer Tomatoes

I trellised the volunteer tomatoes, since it looks like they’re gonna produce.  We sprayed fish emulsion on the tomatoes and melons, and kaolin clay on the cucumbers, eggplants, and squash.

Butternut

The butternut squash is determined to make up for every squash or melon plant we’ve ever failed to grow.  It has spread the width of almost 3 box areas and is half way into the next column, with oodles of female blossoms, and little butternuts growing.

Some Tomatoes

Other harvest items for the week include another big crop of tomatoes (I am making tomato sauce again today), about 3.5 lbs of green beans (I’ll be canning more green beans this week), and our first harvests of field peas and butter beans.  We also got 2 tomatillos and another eggplant, and harvested the very last celery.

Butter beans

The last Celery

Harvest 2

Lemongrass

Field PeasGreen beans

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

Seed Exchange

July 19, 2010

We have seeds available that, for one reason or another, we don’t intend to grow in the future.  We’d love to trade seeds if anyone is interested.  Send an email (address at bottom) if you’re interested.

Name of the seed company:

HS = Heirloom Seeds (heirloomseeds.com)

BC = Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (rareseeds.com)

SC = Seeds of Change (seedsofchange.com)

BI = Botanical Interests (botanicalinterests.com)

BH = Burpee’s Heirlooms

The ’08, ’09, etc. is the “Pack for Season Date”

Seed that needs to be started indoors for best results:

San Marzano tomato (SC – ’09): 30-35 seeds

Bloody Butcher tomato (a 60-day tomato) (BC – ’09):  approx 15 seeds

Green Zebra tomato (BC – ’09):  approx 40 seeds

Beefsteak tomato (BI – ’09):  approx 30 seeds

Utah Celery, Certified Organic (HS – ’08):  approx 100 seeds

Baby Eggplant (BC – ’09): 10-15 seeds

Seed that should be started indoors but might do OK if direct seeded:

Walla Walla Onion (long day), Certified Organic (HS – ‘08): approx. 80-100 seeds

White Sweet Spanish Onion (long day) (HS – ‘08): approx. 80 seeds

Bianca Di Maggio Onion (not sure on day length type) (BC – ‘08) : approx. 125 seeds

Russian Tarragon (Perennial) (HS – ’08):  approx 30 seeds

Seed that can or should be direct seeded:

Chinese Green Luobo Radish (only grows well in cool weather) (BC – ’08):  approx 100 seeds

Chinese Red Meat Radish (BC – ’08):  approx 100 seeds

Watermelon Radish (HS – ’08):  15-20 seeds

Plum Purple Radish (HS – ’08):  approx 40 seeds

Japanese Minowase Daikon Radish (BC – ’08):  approx 125 seeds

Black Spanish Radish (HS – ’08):  approx 75 seeds

Parisian Carrot (HS – ’08):  approx 100 seeds

Chioggia Beet (BH – ‘08):  approx 20-25 seeds

Ruby Queen Beet (HS – ’08):  approx 80 seeds

Heirloom Iceberg Lettuce (HS – ’08):  approx 200 seeds

Greek Basil (SC – ’10):  approx 30 seeds

Seed we’d love to receive:

Amish paste tomato

Better Boy tomato

Early Girl tomato

Candy Onion

Yellow Granix or Grano onion (basically, Short or Intermediate day Vidalia types)

Pickling cucumbers

Hungarian hot wax pepper

Habanero or Scotch Bonnet peppers

Variety of Sweet Peppers

But don’t hesitate to ask us if you have something else.

If you are interested, please contact us at foodgardenkitchen@gmail.com

Thanks and Happy Gardening!

Weekly Garden Update: June 5&6

June 6, 2010

Let the Sun Shine…

It is 87 degrees in the shade at 10:30 am.  Tomorrow is supposed to be hotter.  The Relative humidity is around 80%.  So yeah, it’s hot and muggy.  What did you expect in rural North Carolina?

This week we harvested dill, rosemary, and sage.  Herb harvests have settled in to become a weekly thing, and so I’m taking to flavoring what we eat accordingly.

Harvested Celery

We harvested some heads of celery, snowpeas, the rest of the broccoli.  We have finished harvesting all our mature lettuces.  We harvested cauliflower, and have still a head or two before we’re done with them for the spring.  We harvested the rest of the garlic scapes, and froze most of them.

Curing Garlic 1

Curing Garlic 2

Also, we did our Garlic Harvest, all hardnecks:

45 French Rose

28 Purple Glaze

22 Brown Tempest

13 Random Bulbs of the above 3 (last week)

03 Green Garlic (previous harvest, eaten)

111 Garlic Total.  This is very close to the number that we planted October 17th, and we’re counting garlic as a rousing success.  Surprising and happy-making because it was the first time either of us has fooled with garlic.  A local farmer is using a piece of lattice to hang and cure their garlic on, so we followed suit and hung some plastic netting on a cattle panel under our screened porch to cure them.  With any luck, this will give us enough garlic to eat for at least half a year, plus enough seed garlic to plant most of this fall’s crop, though we are planning on supplementing this with some softnecks from a local source that has been growing one particular variety as seed stock (and eating stock) for over 25 years.

Cauliflower

This weekend we are planting:  running conch field peas (cow peas), Henderson bush baby lima beans, old Dutch half-runner green beans (these bear profusely and accounted for a plurality of our green beans last year), Yukon gold potatoes.  These are going into the garlic boxes and broccoli and cauliflower boxes.  The potatoes are going into a radish and carrot box which has been resting for about a month.  We had to amend our planting plan because the snowpeas are still producing and we didn’t want to tear them up.

Bloody Butchers

We have tomatoes ripening on the vine, 3 of them are red already, all Bloody Butchers.  The san marzano tomatoes are growing nicely.  I predict tomato biscuits in my future.  There is nothing like biting into a hot fresh biscuit with a slice of a real tomato that has been salted and peppered with a dab of butter melting over it.  We get our butter from the dairy 4 miles down the road and I find that it compares favorably with most European butters that are available in the fancier grocery stores locally.

San Marzanos

Acorn squash and yellow squash are lurking behind golden blossoms.  Zucchini and butternuts are not far behind.

Acorns

Yellow Squash

The haricot vert are in full bloom.  Hopefully the green bean deluge will begin soon.

Haricot Vert in Bloom

Cucumbers and climbing squash are attempting to take over the world with their little pale green clutching tendrils.  I find myself talking to them as I would to a pet (or myself) as I alternatively scold and encourage them to grow properly up the cattle panels, and not through the border fencing or into the neighboring bush squash.

Cucumbers

We have actual peppers on the vines, in this case, cayennes.  Oh those practical, prolific, satisfying hot peppers that make you feel like you might know what you’re doing.  In my humble opinion these are easier to grow than radishes anytime, if someone is a beginning gardener.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne #2

We’ve killed 2 more voles in traps in the past 10 days.  Vole depredations are down again, perhaps our continued efforts are actually whittling them down.  The warfarin we get from Kaput is now being applied every 4 days rather than only when we get an outbreak.   I worry about our hawks that live near us, but just yesterday both of them were overflying the garden and the yard as usual.  The local squirrel population doesn’t seem to have been affected yet, and they are the only other critters that we regularly see in the garden.  Just this morning we watched from our windows as one in the potato box scaled a potato plant, and balancing delicately, swayed back and forth, then jumped out over the fencing.  He jumped twice and landed on a t-post on the celery box, perched there and chattered, then leapt down into this box as well.  We ran out onto the screen porch and hollered at him:  the celery box is littered with mouse traps and buried warfarin – he cleared out in a hurry at the unwanted introduction of the crazy humans.

Tomatoes 6

We’re not sure what to do with extra celery leaves.  Neither of us thinks they will freeze as well as the stalks, and we’re not sure that they can be dried and used effectively either, though we are likely to try.  We have more leaves than we can chop and eat this week, so please, if you have any suggestions, leave a comment.

In the Celery Forest

Welcome to the Jungle

Tomatoes 1

Soil worked Box ready for planting

Squash

Peppers